Why Can't I See That Galaxy?

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kt4hx
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Why Can't I See That Galaxy?

#1

Post by kt4hx »

Why Can't I See That Galaxy?
by kt4hx

So, you’ve taken your time to learn the bright stars, and you can point out many constellations, and know where the planets are in the sky. You’ve learned how to collimate to your satisfaction, if your scope requires it. You’ve also learned how to star hop pretty well, and locating a few of the...
Read more...
Alan

Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob
ES AR127 f/6.5 & ED80 f/6 on Twilight-II || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian on Twilight-I
ES 82° 24mm, 18mm; TV Ethos 100° 13mm; Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm, 5mm + barlows
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"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
"The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me...." (Blaise Pascal)
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Re: Why Can't I See That Galaxy?

#2

Post by KingClinton »

Thanks for bringing this over here Alan.
It's a great article and a good resource for both those fledging DSO hunters and the old hands alike!
Eyeballs, binoculars, sketch box, Scopes n stuff.
Some people don't understand why I love astronomy so much, I cannot understand why they do not!

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Re: Why Can't I See That Galaxy?

#3

Post by kt4hx »

KingClinton wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:22 am
Thanks for bringing this over here Alan.
It's a great article and a good resource for both those fledging DSO hunters and the old hands alike!
My pleasure. and thank you Clinton. I do hope it helps some folks out with their galaxy hunting. :)
Alan

Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob
ES AR127 f/6.5 & ED80 f/6 on Twilight-II || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian on Twilight-I
ES 82° 24mm, 18mm; TV Ethos 100° 13mm; Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm, 5mm + barlows
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"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
"The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me...." (Blaise Pascal)
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Re: Why Can't I See That Galaxy?

#4

Post by Don Quixote »

Thank you Alan for posting this here.
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Re: Why Can't I See That Galaxy?

#5

Post by helicon »

Hi Alan. Glad that this classic from AF.net is finally over here. Great article!
-Michael
Various scopes, 10" Zhumell Dob, ES AR152, AWB 5.1" Onesky newt, Oberwerk 25x100 binos, two eyeballs
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Re: Why Can't I See That Galaxy?

#6

Post by kt4hx »

Don Quixote wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:10 pm
Thank you Alan for posting this here.
Thanks Mark, and hope it proves useful. :)

helicon wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:13 pm
Hi Alan. Glad that this classic from AF.net is finally over here. Great article!
Thank you Michael. I thought maybe it might come in handy since we are picking up new members over here and generating increased activity. :)
Alan

Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob
ES AR127 f/6.5 & ED80 f/6 on Twilight-II || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian on Twilight-I
ES 82° 24mm, 18mm; TV Ethos 100° 13mm; Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm, 5mm + barlows
DGM NPB Filter || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow Filters || Baader HaB Filter
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"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
"The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me...." (Blaise Pascal)
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Re: Why Can't I See That Galaxy?

#7

Post by AntennaGuy »

Very helpful. Thank you.
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* Meade 323 refractor on a manual equatorial mount.
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Re: Why Can't I See That Galaxy?

#8

Post by bladekeeper »

So glad you brought this over. A much cited and linked to resource for the budding galaxy hunter. I still recall after first reading it how things began to click in my mind. My galaxy hunting exploded in productivity after that. Thanks, Alan. :)
Bryan
Scopes: Apertura AD12 f/5; Celestron C6-R f/8; ES AR127 f/6.4; Stellarvue SV102T f/7; iOptron MC90 f/13.3; Orion ST80A f/5; ES ED80 f/6; Celestron Premium 80 f/11.4; Celestron C80 f/11.4; Unitron Model 142 f/16; Meade NG60 f/10
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Re: Why Can't I See That Galaxy?

#9

Post by kt4hx »

AntennaGuy wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:16 pm
Very helpful. Thank you.
My pleasure and hope it makes your pursuit of galaxies easier and more enjoyable. :)
Alan

Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob
ES AR127 f/6.5 & ED80 f/6 on Twilight-II || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian on Twilight-I
ES 82° 24mm, 18mm; TV Ethos 100° 13mm; Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm, 5mm + barlows
DGM NPB Filter || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow Filters || Baader HaB Filter
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
"The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me...." (Blaise Pascal)
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Re: Why Can't I See That Galaxy?

#10

Post by kt4hx »

bladekeeper wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:52 pm
So glad you brought this over. A much cited and linked to resource for the budding galaxy hunter. I still recall after first reading it how things began to click in my mind. My galaxy hunting exploded in productivity after that. Thanks, Alan. :)
Thank you very much for your kind comments Bryan. I recall seeing it many times in posts you made suggesting it as reading for folks over at the other site. I figured it was time to drop a copy of it over here where it can be accessed easily. I made a few tweaks here and there, but basically it is the same article.

I easily recall when you were starting out as an observer and seemed to take a shine to galaxies in particular. I believe we had a few discussions early on regarding that very subject. You have become a artful galaxy hunter whose skills I highly regard and am happy to call my friend. :)
Alan

Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob
ES AR127 f/6.5 & ED80 f/6 on Twilight-II || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian on Twilight-I
ES 82° 24mm, 18mm; TV Ethos 100° 13mm; Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm, 5mm + barlows
DGM NPB Filter || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow Filters || Baader HaB Filter
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
"The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me...." (Blaise Pascal)
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Re: Why Can't I See That Galaxy?

#11

Post by Bigzmey »

Great article Alan! A must read for any starting galaxy hunter. M74 was toughest for me to crack out of all Messiers. Took me a dozen times, until I finally resolved it with 8" SCT from Anza.
Scopes: Stellarvue: SV102 ED F7; Celestron: 9.25" EdgeHD F10, 8" SCT F10, 6" SCT F10, Omni XLT 150R Achro F5, Onyx 80ED F6.3; Meade: 80ST Achro F5.
Mounts: ES: Twilight I; Bresser: EXOS2; SW: SkyTee2, AzGTi; UA: MicroStar.
Binos: Orion: Little Giant II 15x70, WorldView 10x50, Nikon: Action EX 16x50 & 8x40.
EPs: Pentax: XWs & XFs; TeleVue: Delites, Panoptic & Plossls; ES: 68s; Vixen: SLVs; Baader: BCOs, Aspherics, Mark IV; Russell Optics: SuperPlossls.
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Filters: Lumicon: DeepSky, UHC, OIII, H-beta; Baader: Moon & SkyGlow, Contrast Booster, UHC-S; Astronomik: UHC, Orion: UltraBlock, SkyGlow.
Observing: DSOs: 1805 (Completed: Messier, Herschel 1, 2, 3. In progress: H2,500: 1377, S110: 77). Doubles: 1341, Comets: 15, Asteroids: 78
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Re: Why Can't I See That Galaxy?

#12

Post by kt4hx »

Bigzmey wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:13 pm
Great article Alan! A must read for any starting galaxy hunter. M74 was toughest for me to crack out of all Messiers. Took me a dozen times, until I finally resolved it with 8" SCT from Anza.
Thank you Andrey. M74 is indeed a challenge for many. Its face-on orientation and resulting lower surface brightness makes it more difficult. While I can routinely see it from our typically Bortle 5 backyard with the 10 inch, I have not tried with anything smaller there. I have suspected it in my 10x50 binoculars from about a Bortle 4 location and want to try for it at our dark site (Bortle 2 to 3, variably). At our dark site I have seen subtle spiral structure with the 10 inch. Overall, from any given location, I find it easier than M101. M33 I find easily even with my 10x50s from locations that I would typically observe from (Bortle 5 or darker). A factor in that of course is experience, which also includes perspective. The most difficult time we typically have finding any object is the first time. We lack that perspective of exactly how it will appear to us, and thus we can many times simply not notice it. :)
Alan

Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob
ES AR127 f/6.5 & ED80 f/6 on Twilight-II || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian on Twilight-I
ES 82° 24mm, 18mm; TV Ethos 100° 13mm; Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm, 5mm + barlows
DGM NPB Filter || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow Filters || Baader HaB Filter
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
"The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me...." (Blaise Pascal)
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Re: Why Can't I See That Galaxy?

#13

Post by SKEtrip »

Alan -
Very good the article traveled with you. A great resource for understanding what to look for and realistic expectations. It needs to be in a "before you start" primer & should be included with the shipment of any 8"+ dob :D

Many thanks,
Steve
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Re: Why Can't I See That Galaxy?

#14

Post by Max Nomad »

kt4hx wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:37 am
Why Can't I See That Galaxy?
by kt4hx

So, you’ve taken your time to learn the bright stars, and you can point out many constellations, and know where the planets are in the sky. You’ve learned how to collimate to your satisfaction, if your scope requires it. You’ve also learned how to star hop pretty well, and locating a few of the...
Read more...
Although all the articles I've seen posted here on TSS are top notch, I had to thank you for this one because it's as if you were hangin' out with me on one of those nights where the hunt for certain DSOs came up snake-eyes. I usually attributed those unsuccessful sessions to my inexperience using a push-to dob under Bortle 7+ suburban skies. None of that did much to soothe the mild sting of starting a journal entry excited about the quest for a DSO / Messier XXX and ending up writing yet another survey about Andromeda or the Moon.

Thanks again!
SKYWARE: "BANNEKER" (Orion XT8 Classic w/ 9x50 RACI), "SOJOURNER" (Celestron NexStar 90 GT), "HARRIET" (Celestron Travel Scope 70), "THE NIKES" (Nikon WP 10x50 ATB), "SPOTTER" (8x56 Celestron Skymaster DX), "HAWK" (9x60 Oberwerk LW) and "GOGGLES" (2.3x42 Kasai Wide Field). EPs: (1.25") Plossl 6mm, 8 to 24 Zoom, 25mm, 32mm, 2X Barlow, 3X Barlow. SOFTWARE: Android (Camera FV-5, Daff Moon, Sky Map, SkyPortal, Heavens Above), Linux (Cartes du Ciel, Stellarium, BOINC SETI), Windows (Celestia, Starry Night 7, TheSkyX, TUBA, Adobe CS5)
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Re: Why Can't I See That Galaxy?

#15

Post by kt4hx »

Max Nomad wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 4:48 pm
kt4hx wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:37 am
Why Can't I See That Galaxy?
by kt4hx

So, you’ve taken your time to learn the bright stars, and you can point out many constellations, and know where the planets are in the sky. You’ve learned how to collimate to your satisfaction, if your scope requires it. You’ve also learned how to star hop pretty well, and locating a few of the...
Read more...
Although all the articles I've seen posted here on TSS are top notch, I had to thank you for this one because it's as if you were hangin' out with me on one of those nights where the hunt for certain DSOs came up snake-eyes. I usually attributed those unsuccessful sessions to my inexperience using a push-to dob under Bortle 7+ suburban skies. None of that did much to soothe the mild sting of starting a journal entry excited about the quest for a DSO / Messier XXX and ending up writing yet another survey about Andromeda or the Moon.

Thanks again!
Thank you Max, and I am pleased that you found the article enlightening and useful. Of course the variables you mention certainly do factor into the results. There is no substitute for experience and particularly for darker skies. But aside from those kinds of things, understanding the nature of your targets and what makes them easy or difficult to find also pays dividends.

We all had our beginnings and that sense of being overwhelmed by how much stuff there is up there within reach of an average backyard scope, but yet have some difficulties locating objects. It is not uncommon for beginners to think they can merely point a scope skyward and be rewarded with all manner of wonderful visual treats. Sometimes we get lucky that way, but more times than not, we become disappointed. This hobby is not intuitive at all, but one that takes practice and dedication to spend time behind the eyepiece, challenging both our experience level and the capabilities of the equipment we are using. The frustrations of coming up empty-handed is part and parcel to the endeavor. It is up to us to use those instances as lessons learned, trying not to get too discouraged and figure out where we went wrong and make adjustments. Eventually we start to see the rewards of our hard work. The more we learn the more fun we have - the more fun we have the more we learn. Good luck! :)
Alan

Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob
ES AR127 f/6.5 & ED80 f/6 on Twilight-II || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian on Twilight-I
ES 82° 24mm, 18mm; TV Ethos 100° 13mm; Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm, 5mm + barlows
DGM NPB Filter || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow Filters || Baader HaB Filter
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
"The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me...." (Blaise Pascal)
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Re: Why Can't I See That Galaxy?

#16

Post by helicon »

Alan you are completely correct, it takes time to get used to the views of the faint fuzzies and having Bortle 6-7 skies in the backyard (as Max and I do) makes DSO hunting more difficult for us. Several years back into the astronomy adventure and I am finding that the number of new objects I can discern is starting to shrink. The best remedy for this is a dark sky.
-Michael
Various scopes, 10" Zhumell Dob, ES AR152, AWB 5.1" Onesky newt, Oberwerk 25x100 binos, two eyeballs
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Re: Why Can't I See That Galaxy?

#17

Post by patrickdives »

Alan, thank you for bringing over this most excellent article! I agree that it is a classic and it really helped me early in my not too long ago start in DSO hunting.

Patrick
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Re: Why Can't I See That Galaxy?

#18

Post by kt4hx »

helicon wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:52 pm
Alan you are completely correct, it takes time to get used to the views of the faint fuzzies and having Bortle 6-7 skies in the backyard (as Max and I do) makes DSO hunting more difficult for us. Several years back into the astronomy adventure and I am finding that the number of new objects I can discern is starting to shrink. The best remedy for this is a dark sky.
It is indeed unfortunate that too many have to deal with such LP levels making the task that much more difficult. Darker skies are the great equalizer and make up for smaller apertures in a much more profound way than larger aperture can ever do under heavy light pollution.

patrickdives wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:00 pm
Alan, thank you for bringing over this most excellent article! I agree that it is a classic and it really helped me early in my not too long ago start in DSO hunting.

Patrick
Thanks Patrick. I am always happy to hear that the article is a useful learning tool for others. :)
Alan

Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob
ES AR127 f/6.5 & ED80 f/6 on Twilight-II || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian on Twilight-I
ES 82° 24mm, 18mm; TV Ethos 100° 13mm; Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm, 5mm + barlows
DGM NPB Filter || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow Filters || Baader HaB Filter
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
"The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me...." (Blaise Pascal)
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Re: Why Can't I See That Galaxy?

#19

Post by Star Rider »

Great article! It's been sometime since I have been able to set up a scope and do any meaningful observing. Too much work, too little time. Thank you for this, I've read it 3 times now...

Clear shies,
Bob
Scopes - 6" ES AR 152, 5" ES 127 APO, 90mm Stellarvue CF Raptor, 72mm AT, C9.25, C1100 EDGE, 6" RC & ES Comet Hunter.
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Re: Why Can't I See That Galaxy?

#20

Post by kt4hx »

Star Rider wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:16 pm
Great article! It's been sometime since I have been able to set up a scope and do any meaningful observing. Too much work, too little time. Thank you for this, I've read it 3 times now...

Clear shies,
Bob
Thank you Bob. I am happy that you find the article enlightening, and that you will have an opportunity to put it to use when you have the time. Unfortunately in today's world, too much work and too little free time is an all too common affliction that many folks have to endure. Hopefully that will change a bit for you in the not too distant future. :)
Alan

Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob
ES AR127 f/6.5 & ED80 f/6 on Twilight-II || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian on Twilight-I
ES 82° 24mm, 18mm; TV Ethos 100° 13mm; Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm, 5mm + barlows
DGM NPB Filter || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow Filters || Baader HaB Filter
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
"The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me...." (Blaise Pascal)
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