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What was the first galaxy you ever observed?

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#26 Astrodj

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 05:01 PM

"I'm intrigued how many people's second galaxy was M51, considering that it's not among the brightest."

Me too. I looked for M51 for five years with a 3" reflector with no success. No idea what I was doing. The images I had seen made me think it would be easier than it was. I finally saw it when I got the Cave 10" when I was 16.

M82 was my second galaxy BTW.



"Reminds me of the time as a kid I thought in seeing the Pleidies I had located the Little Dipper!"

I made that mistake also. :grin:


"Don't feel too bad about that. When I was 11 and playing with my older brother's 7-12x35 binoculars (he was a bird watcher), I had pointed them south one summer night when I saw a nice big oval fuzzy patch with stars around it. I instantly thought I had seen the Andromeda Galaxy, and it wasn't until a few years later that I learned it was actually the Lagoon Nebula. Still, I had actually *found* something in the sky, which was an accomplishment in and of itself. That pair of binoculars got me into astronomy in a big way. Clear skies to you."

Looking back on those days makes me laugh. I don't take myself to seriously. M8 was another easy naked eye object I wondered about back then. When I finally got my Edmund 3" Newtonian I saw what you described, but had no idea what it was. I felt like I was discovering something, which for me of course I was. :bigshock:

I looked for the Cone Nebula and the Horsehead when I first started out too. I didn't know how tough those were at the time either. The pictures in my book looked pretty bright. :p I really wanted to see those two!

#27 N. Ham

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 08:33 PM

I remember being frustrated at not being able to find the horsehead with my 3" reflector way back then. In looking back, I am somewhat ashamed as interested as I was in 1971 in astronomy, that I let high school, girls, college, med school and post doctoral training get in the way of astronomy for so long. I didn't even know what a Messier object was until about 1996! I know that comet Hyutake(sp?) was what got me going again. I think I blundered into an issue of Astronomy or S&T at the local Barnes and Noble, and that was how it got started again for me. I am still not where I want to be in observing and describing what I see to share with others. I really appreciate this message board and those that contribute to it.

Keep it coming.

#28 FJA

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 08:46 AM

M31 for me also. I was interested in astronomy as a kid but, like most people, let it drop until I was an adult. I was 22 when I got back into it in 1992 and in September that year, I loaned a 6" dob from our local society which I'd joined in that summer. M31 was probably the first deep sky object I looked at with that scope.

#29 jcco

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 07:17 PM

Hello,

I got my first scope in spring 2007 (10" Dob) and the very first object I observed through it was NGC 2392 (The Eskimo Nebula) and the second one was M104 which was my first Galaxy ever outside the Milky Way.

On that same night I also observed M81, M82 and M51 but M104 was the first one.

Bye,

JC

#30 kfiscus

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 08:18 PM

Very impressive list of first memories!

#31 Astrodj

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 10:51 PM

Welcome to CN, JC.

1st light the Eskimo, first galaxy M104? That is an unusual first two objects indeed! Wow. I think you are the first one to have M104 as a first galaxy in this thread.

#32 Richard McC

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 11:38 AM

I'm surprised no one from the southern hemisphere has replied about the Magellanic Clouds.


I'll do so now - LMC and SMC naked eye. :grin: Away from city lights both are obvious targets. I cannot remember what number three was.

#33 MikeBOKC

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 12:52 PM

M104 was my first galaxy too. Got my Meade 826 Starfinder in the early 80s and set it up in the yard . . . my first scope since the traditional 60mm refractor when I was a kid. I just started scanning the skies and -- bingo! -- ran across a galaxy! Checking charts I saw that is was 104, and I have to say it remains my favorite to this day, having seen it now in a dozen or more scopes.

#34 MikeBOKC

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 12:52 PM

M104 was my first galaxy too. Got my Meade 826 Starfinder in the early 80s and set it up in the yard . . . my first scope since the traditional 60mm refractor when I was a kid. I just started scanning the skies and -- bingo! -- ran across a galaxy! Checking charts I saw that is was 104, and I have to say it remains my favorite to this day, having seen it now in a dozen or more scopes.

#35 timb

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 02:01 PM

My first was M81 just about a month ago. Lot easier finding them after the first one.

#36 Astrodj

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 11:19 PM

M104 is one of my favorites as well. The first time I observed it in my 10" at age 16 I was amazed at how well defined it was. I had darker skies then. ;)

#37 Niels2011

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 03:01 AM

M31 then M33, which I spent a good half hour hunting on that first light evening in 2010 from my mag 5 backyard. I kept looking because it was supposed to be easy I thought - it was a very good early lesson in finding faint fuzzy things, as I finally saw the subtle lightening of the background sky which was M33.

#38 aatt

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 01:38 PM

Definitely M31 then M33. After that it was the big elliptical Messier (forgot the number) in Virgo.

#39 azure1961p

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:46 PM

M87?

Pete

#40 tjspelich

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 04:22 AM

M31 through a pair of Swift Audubon 8.5x42 binoculars.
Tim

#41 BSJ

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 07:37 AM

My first concerted effort to find a Galaxy was M31, about 5 years ago. Used my 78mm 25x spotting scope on a light weight camera tripod. Saw an elongated fuzzy smudge.

Decided I needed to get a real telescope after that so I could see it better.

Little did I know that even after getting increasingly larger scopes that it’s still an elongated fuzzy patch!

None the less, it’s been a fun trip. But now I’ve got a 10” Dob that’s optically as good as can be that’ll likely end up being the biggest I’ll ever own. But I've still got a lifetimes supply of targets to find!

#42 Kraus

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 12:45 PM

I do remember watching the Andromeda galaxy form.

So I guess Messier 31.

#43 rdandrea

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 04:02 PM

I think mine were M81 and M82.

#44 Bill Boublitz

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 05:05 PM

Not counting the Milky Way, M31 through binoculars and naked eye.

Telescopically, (here's where it gets good); the second galaxy was... NGC 3521 in Leo! Right... I was a proud novice with my first instrument and had been poking around the belly of Leo looking for who knows what, when I accidentally bumped the scope and it serendipitously centered 3521 in the FOV. True. I had to go inside and look it up on the charts. I still observe it every year just for the laugh and smiles.

#45 ensign

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 07:40 PM

NGC891 naked eye from urban light pollution. :grin:

OK, like nearly everyone else, M31 with a 4" achromat from my suburban back yard. It was a pretty exciting find!

#46 JIMZ7

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:45 PM

I would say it was M-31/M-32 with a 6" f/4 homemade reflector. This scope was purchased back in the mid 1960's at Polaris Telescope Shop in Dearborn Michigan. I lived in Detroit then & the skies were much darker than the suburban skies now.

Jim :dob:

#47 Tyranthrax

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 02:17 PM

M104 Sombrero. . .I don't know why it was the first one I saw when I tried scrolling through the list of DSO's on the controller and I like nachos. been hooked ever since

#48 Bill Boublitz

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 07:56 AM

Hey, Mike... How many satellite Globular Clusters were you able to count on NGC 891 that night?

#49 bremms

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 06:42 AM

I remember being frustrated at not being able to find the horsehead with my 3" reflector way back then. In looking back, I am somewhat ashamed as interested as I was in 1971 in astronomy, that I let high school, girls, college, med school and post doctoral training get in the way of astronomy for so long. I didn't even know what a Messier object was until about 1996! I know that comet Hyutake(sp?) was what got me going again. I think I blundered into an issue of Astronomy or S&T at the local Barnes and Noble, and that was how it got started again for me. I am still not where I want to be in observing and describing what I see to share with others. I really appreciate this message board and those that contribute to it.

Keep it coming.


I too had a couple long periods of waning from the hobby. To busy getting drunk an chasing girls as an undergrad. Later, working at STScI I was racing bicycles and motorbikes, chasing girls again.. Back into it now for a good while.

first other than Milky Way.. M31 then M33 with a 60mm sears and binocs.
M31 was easy naked eye when I was growing up.

#50 StrangeDejavu

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 06:11 PM

My first galaxy was M81 three nights ago, actually. :) I didn't plan on being out long, so I had my refractor out. Even with it, I could see the glowing core from my red/white zone. No luck on M82, however.

I keep a log of all my firsts, and this is what I wrote that night:

5/29/13 - FIRST: M81 (Bode's Galaxy) in the Northern sky through Omni XLT 102. Very faint, like a finger print. Glowing core evident.

:waytogo:


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