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Help Finding NGC891

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#1 jack45

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 09:40 PM

Been looking for NGC891 for two years. Not sure I've found it as of yet. Is it located between the star Almach and M34? If not where from the star Almach should I look (north,south,east or west of Almach). How should it look in a 12" or 16" scope?

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#2 JayinUT

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 09:50 PM

Here is a map from Starry Night on the location of 891. Hope it helps.

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#3 jack45

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 10:22 PM

That helps, thanks!

Clear skies!

#4 David Knisely

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 12:39 AM

Been looking for NGC891 for two years. Not sure I've found it as of yet. Is it located between the star Almach and M34? If not where from the star Almach should I look (north,south,east or west of Almach). How should it look in a 12" or 16" scope?

Clear skies!


If you have an equatorial mount, you can move it about 3.4 degrees due east of Almach (Gamma And). Another trick to use (especially if you have a Dob) is putting your scope dead-center on Almach (shut off any tracking if you have any), and wait for about 18 minutes 27 seconds. After that time interval, NGC 891 should be almost dead center in the telescope's field of view. Depending on conditions and the power you are using, you may or may not see it, as it has a very low surface brightness that can sometimes be wiped out by even modest sky glow. Under a dark sky, a 12 to 16 inch should show it as a faint moderate-sized roughly cigar-shaped fuzzy patch that has a very low contrast irregular darker dust lane down the middle of the galaxy which is best seen with averted vision at moderate powers. With averted vision under a dark sky, at anything but the lowest or highest powers, it can look a little like some black and white images of the galaxy, but with its low surface brightness, seeing a lot of detail in it can be a little tricky sometimes. I have seen the dust lane under a really dark sky in my 9.25 inch SCT, although it is a lot easier to see in my 14 inch Newtonian. I might recommend using between 90x and 180 with a 12 to 16 inch aperture for viewing the details in NGC 891. Clear skies to you.

#5 jack45

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 02:27 AM

Thanks, Used the 12" scope still unable to see it, with a 13mm TV eps tonight. Will try the 16" scope with a 18mm and the 13mm eps tomorrow night. We have mag 6 skies and the transparency is above average. I've been doing this to long not to be able to find it. I don't like using the IntelliScope Computerized Object Locator, but may have too.

Clear Skies!

#6 JayinUT

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 04:27 AM

I'll make a closer shot for you and see if this helps at all. Also, you could use the intelliscope to get there and do a reverse star hop so you know what to look for, taking notes and then the next night try it via star hopping.

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#7 azure1961p

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 08:35 AM

You may very well have scanned over it. I had difficulty but repeated success under magnitude 6.2 skys with an 8" with a 26mm ocular yielding 70x. More than enough to frame it. Alas not even a hint of that beautiful distlane.

If you have it,. and you should, try using a 25mm ocular or 32mm for that matter. At 18mm your field is a little narrow for a finder eyepiece. At anyrate with a 16"... lol, wish I had a 16" for this one under those same 6.2 skys. I know the dustlane wouldve popped.

Pete

#8 jack45

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 10:27 AM

Thanks guys!

I do have a 26mm Meade Plossl and can use the TV paracorr.

Clear skies!

#9 joelimite

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 11:07 AM

This galaxy was tricky for me from light polluted skies, even with my 12-inch. It's on the edge of visibility from my borderline orange/red zone skies. It's extremely faint and low contrast. I hope to observe it from dark skies this fall.

#10 blb

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 02:43 PM

NGC 891 was discovered by Karoline Herschel in 1783 using a 4.2 reflector telescope. Walter Scott Houston could see it with his 4-inch refractor and Steven O'Meara has a great sketch of this galaxy using a 4-inch refractor in his Caldwell book. Yet some people have trouble seeing this galaxy with an 18-inch scope, Why? Is it any surprise that the reason is light pollution? To have your best chance of seeing this galaxy you will find that you need the darkest skies you can find or have access to. Although this galaxy is easy to find, it may never be seen with much light pollution persent. So my sugestion is to stop looking for this galaxy at home untill you have found it from a dark sky site. That way you will know exactly what you are looking for and where it is located among the stars in your eyepiece. Once you know what this faint object look's like and where it is located you may find that it is visible at home with a much smaller scope but it will be very faint.

#11 Sasa

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 03:59 PM

Actually, it is not true that this galaxy was discovered by Karoline Herschel. I know it is in lots of books. But the galaxy was discovered by her brother William on 6 October 1784. As Steinecke in his book "Observing and Cataloguing Nebulae and Star Clusters" explains, this was a typo in the first William's catalogue. The comment about discovery by Caroline was moved by error by one line and should go to object V18 (M110) and not V19 (NGC891).

Otherwise I agree with you. For me, it was quite difficult to see it in 150mm reflector for the first time. Now I'm able to see it even in 80mm from my backyard.

#12 morceli

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 11:39 AM

I saw NGC891 for the first time late this August. My notes say "long and thin. Rather faint."

I started from Almach and headed "down" just about 4 degrees. There is a mag 5.8 star and another star ~mag 6.7 to the "left" of that star. 891 is about half a degree away from this left star.

#13 MrJones

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 01:04 PM

I find it from Almaak towards Algol but also relative to Mirach and Mirphak so I confirm what direction to go from Almaak. If that makes sense. :)

#14 omahaastro

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 03:14 PM

It's among a pretty rich field of stars... sort of 'hidden beneath'... easy to overlook. Relatively faint, but big and full of detail once you find it.

#15 Matt2003

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 07:01 PM


I do not know if it is worth my while to try for this, at home, again. An orange sky seems a REAL killer as far as this one goes.
Still I might try tonight. At least I have a clear sky again!

Clear Skies,
Matt

#16 starrancher

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 07:40 PM

It's a toughy . At a good dark sky site , I tried it with my 5" refractor . The glow of the galaxy was so dim that the only way I could confirm that I had it was by comparing star patterns around it with a photo .
I've yet to try it with my 8 " . No explanation as to why .
:tonofbricks:

#17 cpr1

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 07:42 PM

I agree it is very faint, but larger than say ngc4565 and not as much contrast as M104. It didn't seem to have much of a brighter core.
I most recently observed it from a yellow/green zone with a 10 inch. I could not resolve the dust lane, but it's large size and cigar shaped appearance is impressive.

#18 MikeRatcliff

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 10:52 PM

Hello, Jack,

Here is how I find it now: If you look at JayinUT's first diagram, the fairly bright star below and to the right of NGC 891 is actually a pair of brighter stars that can catch your attention in a finder when scanning between Almach and M34 (and cheating a little to the side). So looking at the pair and going from the brighter of the pair towards the dimmer and continuing that line gets you to a 6.7 mag star that is the dim star just below NGC891 in Jay's diagram. From there take a right turn, not quite 90 degrees,and you're there.

It does take a dark sky. The mag 6 sky should do it. Good luck!

Mike

#19 David Knisely

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 12:28 AM

I agree it is very faint, but larger than say ngc4565 and not as much contrast as M104. It didn't seem to have much of a brighter core.
I most recently observed it from a yellow/green zone with a 10 inch. I could not resolve the dust lane, but it's large size and cigar shaped appearance is impressive.


Actually, the two are fairly comparable in size. NGC 4565 is 15.9' arc x 1.8' arc, so it is slightly longer than NGC 891 (14.3' x 2.4'). The mean surface brightness of NGC 4565 (13.1 mag/sq. arc min.) is also notably brighter than that of NGC 891 (14.6 mag/sq. arc min.) and NGC 4565 has a more concentrated brighter core region, making it stand out a lot better than NGC 891. NGC 891 can be a tough object to view, but under a dark sky, I have glimpsed it in only an 80mm f/5 refractor. Clear skies to you.

#20 nytecam

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 03:43 AM

Due to poor eyes and skies I don't eyeball any more and was amazed how faint 891 appears even in fairly large scopes. Previously my brief exposures of DSOs seemed to mimic the visual appearance recorded here but for 891 it needed ~30sec [below] to show anything so it must be very faint ;) My deep 891 here :rainbow:

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#21 Astrojensen

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 04:51 AM

NGC 891 is not what I would consider a very faint galaxy, but it does have low surface brightness, similar, actually, to that of M33. Dark skies are most important, much more so than aperture. In the past, I used it as something of a test object for the observing conditions. If it wasn't reasonably well visible (albeit dim) in my 63mm Zeiss, the night was not so good. If it was bigger and more prominent than usual, the night was uncommonly good and suitable for observing faint objects.

When observing threshold objects, it's very important to locate their exact position without a shred of doubt. The only way this seems to be possible is by starhopping. You may locate the area with a GOTO mount, but you need to verify the position of the object with an accurate map or, better yet, a deep photograph. If the stars match, you've found the correct location, even if the object may not be immediately apparent. When the location is known, you can use your most sensitive part of your averted vision to observe it and try picking it out of the background. Keeping the averted vision steady and not letting your gaze wander around the field can be quite difficult, but it can be learned and mastered. Use a magnification that frames the object well and at the same time darken the sky background enough that your dark adaption can get better than at low power or with the naked eye.

Posted Image

The picture is based on observations with my 6" achromat w/binoviewer and magnifications between 48x and 120x under a mag 6.5 sky. Stars are shown to about mag 14 or so. In this scope, at 48x, it is a beautiful little spindle of light, floating behind the stars.

BTW, you can use the Milky Way to judge your local conditions for observing galaxies. If the Milky Way is washed out, so will galaxies be, for the most part. Especially edge-ons (like the MW!) and spirals. Their cores can often penetrate light pollution, but their disks often blend into the background.

Galaxies are like delicate butterflies. They can best be observed far from civilization and pollution, in pristine conditions.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#22 Matt2003

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 06:54 PM


Got out last night, but never got more than a nice view of the White Rose cluster & a couple other OCs. Long before I had the needed dark adaptation for galaxy viewing, lots of cirrus clouds moved in, from the north. Which was the area of sky I had intended to view
So oother than that & a final farewell to M.22, last night was another bust. No NGC 891. My sky did not look very dark either, to begin with.

Clear skies,
Matt

#23 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 03:48 AM

Ive seen 891 from mag 5.0 skies.....but sometimes looking at the EXACT spot does not help if the skies are not transparent enough. NGC-891 is very faint and difficult to see, but it can be done.

#24 Matt2003

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 06:50 PM


Again, I can ALMOST call it, but not beyond ALL doubt.. And mag 5 skies were about what I had last night before more high clouds started moving in after 10 PM local time. Several nice DSOs & a lot of (faint) detail seen in M.31 but NOt NGC 891.
This thing is becoming my White Whale! Not sure LOL is apt, either.

Clear Skies,
Matt

#25 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 09:59 PM

NGC 891 can be a tough object to view, but under a dark sky, I have glimpsed it in only an 80mm f/5 refractor.


I've also logged NGC 891 with an 80mm f/5 refractor but only from one of the darkest spots readily available to me, Cherry Springs State Park.

Dave Mitsky






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