What was the first galaxy you ever observed?
Posted 16 May 2013 - 05:01 PM
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.
"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.
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. I really wanted to see those two!
Posted 16 May 2013 - 08:33 PM
Keep it coming.
Posted 17 May 2013 - 08:46 AM
Posted 17 May 2013 - 07:17 PM
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.
Posted 17 May 2013 - 10:51 PM
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.
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. Away from city lights both are obvious targets. I cannot remember what number three was.
Posted 18 May 2013 - 12:52 PM
Posted 18 May 2013 - 12:52 PM
Posted 18 May 2013 - 02:01 PM
Posted 18 May 2013 - 11:19 PM
Posted 19 May 2013 - 03:01 AM
Posted 19 May 2013 - 01:38 PM
Posted 22 May 2013 - 07:37 AM
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!
Posted 22 May 2013 - 12:45 PM
So I guess Messier 31.
Posted 22 May 2013 - 05:05 PM
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.
Posted 22 May 2013 - 07:40 PM
OK, like nearly everyone else, M31 with a 4" achromat from my suburban back yard. It was a pretty exciting find!
Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:45 PM
Posted 23 May 2013 - 02:17 PM
Posted 28 May 2013 - 07:56 AM
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.
Posted 01 June 2013 - 06:11 PM
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.