Re: Rookie with a new XT8
- I'd like to add another book that made a HUGE difference for
me...It's the Messier Merathon book published by Willman-Bell. Once
I got this book and the Rigel I found about 12 or 13 M-objects the
first time out! You have to do a little adjusting for the Rigel but
it's basically just a matter of doubling the circles.
--- In skyquest-telescopes@y..., Phil Lefever <kb0nes@i...> wrote:
> Hello Kevin and welcome!
> I was born in Beltsville, MD and I have an uncle that lives in
> Spring so I am familiar with your sky conditions.
> >I am new to this game, so please excuse my ignorance on what will
> >probably seem like very basic questions. I just got an XT8, and
> >only had 3 clear skies (in Silver Spring, MD) in the past week or
> >I was able to find Jupiter and Saturn on my third time out, and
> >got me wanting more.
> Glad the first experiences have been good! We were all ignorant at
> some point so ask anything you like, the only dumb question is the
> one that goes un-asked.
> I would HIGHLY suggest that you start off with 2 books. Nightwatch
> by Terrance Dickerson and StarWare by Philip Harrington. Both of
> these books will get you up the start of the learning curve quickly.
> >I then tried to find the Great Nebula in Andromeda, but had no
> >I did my star-hopping, and am quite sure that I was looking in the
> >right area. So, this leads me to a couple of questions:
> >1. Should I be able to see the nebula in Andromeda without a
> >given my location (suburbs, but not next to a big city)?
> As someone else pointed out you were looking for M31 which is
> a spiral galaxy in Andromeda. You won't likely see any structure
> just a bright point in the core surrounded by a hazy patch. It is
> a shame we all look at too many astrophotographs that spoil us.
> M31 even from dark skies in my friends 25" dob shows little
> structure. Also no filter will significantly improve a galaxy or
> cluster, unfortunately.
> >2. Will a filter be necessary to see most nebulae (or at least see
> >them well)?
> In almost no cases will a filter be "needed" to see a nebula. It
> (if not most) cases a filter can make a significant improvement in
> the contrast of the image though. Especially true from light
> suburban skies. I own several LPR (Light Pollution Reduction) and
> narrow band filters and I won't observe without them, but they are
> no replacement for truly dark skies. If you were going to but a 1st
> filter I'd suggest an Orion Ultrablock or maybe a Lumicron UHC.
> The broadband filters like the Orion Skyglow filter can help but
> the effect is minimal except in skies that are heavily polluted by
> man made light.
> From your Silver Spring skies you will be able to see a number
> of the brighter deep sky objects. The Orion Nebula will look good,
> M13 Great cluster in Hercules should be easy, M31 Andromeda
> galaxy and M27 Dumbell nebula should all be decent. I do suggest
> you look at all these objects again from somewhere far from the
> city lights though. The difference will AMAZE you, filter or not!
> faint deep sky objects are best observed during a New Moon night
> when the illumination from the Moon is minimal. This makes a HUGE
> >3. What do you think would be the highest power EP I could use here
> >on most nights (seeing Saturn through the 9mm provided with the
> >had more longing for more power)?
> The general rule of thumb is 40X per inch of telescope aperture.
> of course gives you 320X which would equate to about a 4mm eyepiece.
> Of course all rules are made to be broken and this one has a few
> First the atmosphere you are looking through needs to be steady
> is referred to as "Seeing" conditions). Second your telescope needs
> be aligned (collimated) well. Also an eyepiece with this short of a
> length would be annoying due to it's small eye lens and short eye
> What can you do about this? Well the seeing conditions nothing. Just
> keep upping the power until the image goes mushy then back off. That
> will be the limit for that point in time and that object. Telescope
> is under your control and a properly adjusted 'scope will reward
> for learning how to properly align a telescope. The StarWare book
> as some online information can describe collimation and star
> Finally as for the eyepieces. My recommendation is to buy a quality
> Barlow lens. This slips under your eyepiece and doubles it's
> The Celestron Ultima Barlow is the bang for the buck hands down
> For about $70 you can double your effective eyepiece collection.
> becomes a 12.5mm and the 9mm becomes 4.5mm. The best thing about a
> Barlow is that it keeps the eye relief of a particular eyepiece the
> doubling it's effective magnification. Very handy especially for
> must wear glasses as they observe. Of course I'd suggest adding a
> eyepieces to your collection as well, something shorter like a 30-
> and maybe an in between like a 15-17mm and the Barlow will make a
> assortment of possible powers. The Orion Serius Plossels are a great
> value for the price, but of course if money isn't an issue, TeleVue
> or maybe even Orion Ultrascopics would be nicer.
> >I am also a little confused now about nebulae and galaxies
> >I know). I understand what each of them is, but I don't really know
> >what I'd be looking for in my scope (with low power EP) when
> >searching them out. Like I said before, I couldn't find the Messier
> >objects in Andromeda, and when I talked to somebody about it, he
> >I would need a filter. That confused me, because I thought the
> >Messier objects in Andromeda (like M31, I think) were galaxies, and
> >that using a filter would block them out.
> You just need to learn what to look for, this takes time. The cool
> after you do is when you are at a star party and the guy next to you
> has his batteries go dead in his "goto" scope. You will still be
> and you can smile as you hear him bitch.
> Ont thing I also highly recommend is a "one power finder" like a
> or a Rigel Quick finder. On my XT10 I chose the Rigel although I
> the Telrad overall. The Rigel is smaller and lighter
> >So, as you can see, I am thoroughly confused. So, the Great Nebula
> >Andromeda and the Messier objects in Andromeda are different? And
> >what would be the easiest Messier objects to find right now? If
> >anyone could set me straight, I'd really appreciate it ;)
> >Thanks in advance for your help.
> > Kevin
> > http://www.egroups.com/group/skyquest-telescopes
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> Phil Lefever KBØNES Twin Cities Repeater
> kb0nes@t... Burnsville,MN
- Thanks for the tip Jeremy! I'll do that next time I go
--- stjerome@... wrote:
> If it shows up centered in the 25mm, the Telrad is__________________________________________________
> not the problem. The
> target is drifting while you are switching
> eyepieces. You have to be
> quick about it. One trick is to center the target,
> and then take
> another quick peek thru the finderscope, to remember
> what the finder
> view looks like. I hunt in this order: Telrad,
> finder, low mag, high
> mag. If you lose the target, back up a step or two.
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