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General Astronomy >> Beginners Forum

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Fuzzyguy
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Colorado/Kansas
Re: Help with M-13 . new [Re: Seldom]
      #5953048 - 07/03/13 12:33 PM

If you are using an equatorial mount, M13 is a very easy hop once you find Eta Her. Just turn you DEC control so your scope moves straight south about 2.5 degrees and it will pop into view and form a flat triangle between two nice 7th mag stars. If you have at least a .75 degree FoV, you can't miss it.

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bremms
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/31/12

Loc: SC
Re: Help with M-13 . new [Re: Fuzzyguy]
      #5953071 - 07/03/13 12:51 PM

M13 is easily visible in a finder and a naked eye object from a dark site, Use some star charts and find it as other have described. Paper charts, not on a phone. If you have some binos get them out and scan the area. That way, you can become familiar with the star patterns around brighter objects.

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David Knisely
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/19/04

Loc: southeastern Nebraska
Re: Help with M-13 . new [Re: Seldom]
      #5953190 - 07/03/13 02:02 PM

Quote:

+1 on David Knisely's recommendation of the Pocket Sky Atlas, but his reference to a rhombus could cause some confusion if you expect to find M13 in one. The keystone is a trapezoid.

Note that the PSA has a list of Messier objects on the last page.




Yea, it is a little more like a trapezoid than a rhombus.


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lilfeet
journeyman


Reged: 06/29/13

Loc: Arky
Re: Help with M-13 . new [Re: David Knisely]
      #5954753 - 07/04/13 01:15 PM

Still haven't been able to find it. I can't make out the four stars. See a lot of three stars but not the fourth. That's what giving me fits. I've looked with 10x50 bino's till my necks stiff. I've took a few nights off and have been watching Saturn instead. I ain't gonna give up, I know it's up there just waiting for me to figure it out.
Again thanks for all the help and tips. I've really enjoyed being back out under the stars and feeding the bugs.


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JasonBurry
sage


Reged: 04/27/12

Loc: Cape Spencer, NB, Canada
Re: Help with M-13 . new [Re: lilfeet]
      #5954791 - 07/04/13 01:43 PM

I've found, on occasion, Hercules to be less than the most obvious constellation.

My suggestion would be that you try a sky chart software for your computer. I like Cartes du Ciel myself, it's free and VERY configurable. The most basic catalogues would be plenty for this purpose. There are a number of other free software that will also work.

The advantage of using a sky chart software is it shows you where things are "now".

M13 will quickly become a favourite object, one you'll slew to from memory in no time, once you get to know the neighbourhood.

Good hunting.

J


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Dave Mitsky
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: Help with M-13 . new [Re: JasonBurry]
      #5954800 - 07/04/13 01:48 PM

Here are links to the Stellarium and Cartes du Ciel sites:

http://www.stellarium.org/

http://www.ap-i.net/skychart/start

Dave Mitsky


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SteveNH
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 07/10/11

Loc: Millbrae, CA
Re: Help with M-13 . new [Re: lilfeet]
      #5954830 - 07/04/13 02:10 PM

Quote:

Still haven't been able to find it. I can't make out the four stars.



That's the 'key', so to speak, to finding M13. As others have mentioned, as soon as you find the Hercules keystone stars, you will find M13 with no problem at all. In my badly light polluted sky where even Polaris and the end star Kochab is barely visible in the Little Dipper, I have difficulty seeing the orientation of the keystone overhead. Using lower power wider-field binoculars or opera glasses (3x - 7x) will help brighten those dim stars so you can recognize the keystone. 10x is too much power for that.

Steve


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galexand
sage
*****

Reged: 07/10/12

Loc: Bloomington Indiana
Re: Help with M-13 . new [Re: lilfeet]
      #5954841 - 07/04/13 02:18 PM

I was just gonna recommend binocs. I'm not sure how you use them, but I have a pretty rigorous technique. First, I find some bright star I can spot naked-eye and make sure I can get to it in the binocs, and look at the star chart to make absolutely sure I've got the right one. Then I look for some little asterism on the star chart that is headed in the direction towards my target...then I set down the star chart and go back to the binocs and do the hop, starting at the bright star, and going to that asterism. I might do that a dozen times to make sure I'm able to do that hop reliably, and to make sure I really am looking at the same thing as in the charts. Then I'll look at the charts again and find another asterism that's even closer, and go back to the bins and do that again. I do that as many times as it takes until I'm at my destination. Each time I look through the bins, I start at the same bright star, so I am practicing one star hop sequence over and over again. By the time you find M13, you'll know the neighborhood pretty well from so much hopping around the vicinity. The important part is to check in between runs and make sure you are actually understanding how the view relates to the charts, or you aren't really learning anything. A lot of times, I get lost and realize after a while that I was looking at "the big triangle to the upper-left" when I should have been looking at "the little triangle way far to the upper-left" or whatever story you have to tell yourself to keep the star chart in your mind while looking through the bins.

I did that last night for M13, it took a while -- like others have said, Hercules is not a very obvious constellation so I started at Vega. Lyra happens to be my favorite for hopping, but if you managed ot find M57 then you've already conquered it.

I do roughly the same technique looking through the telescope but it is *so* much more convenient through binoculars, and M13 is luckily one of those objects that shows up pretty well in bins.


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REC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: Help with M-13 . new [Re: Seldom]
      #5954906 - 07/04/13 03:19 PM Attachment (7 downloads)

Ok, enough of this already, It's frustrating me too that you can't find it yet. About an hour after sunset Hercules is just about overhead. From Saturn, straight above that is Arcturus in Bootes, hang a left from there, past the "C" for Coronas and then find the 4 stars that make up the keystone, just about 1/3 the way down from Eta you will find M13. Can't wait to hear your report on it:)

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Gvs
member


Reged: 05/19/11

Loc: Texas
Re: Help with M-13 . new [Re: REC]
      #5955930 - 07/05/13 11:17 AM

Try and get a laser pointer aligned with your telescope, and then use your star map and point your scope with the laser on.

Use a 40mm eyepiece or larger. You should not have a problem finding M13.

Omega Centauri is a better candidate, and it looks great on any telescope if you are at a latitude to see it.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Help with M-13 . new [Re: Gvs]
      #5955938 - 07/05/13 11:23 AM

I can actually see it thru the 9X50 finderscope with plenty of sky around it; shouldn't be too hard to find.

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Seldom
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/05/12

Loc: N of Cedar City Light Dome
Re: Help with M-13 . new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5955948 - 07/05/13 11:29 AM

Hercules is practically at zenith after dark and my neck doesn't reach that far back. Try lying down and looking straight up for M13 using binoculars. I found M101 that way too.

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astroment
member


Reged: 06/25/13

Re: Help with M-13 . new [Re: Seldom]
      #5956133 - 07/05/13 01:55 PM

+1 on Stellarium Here's some youtube video's on how to use it
Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQtLH0FafrI
Part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htJAzLMIkU0


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Brett Carlson
sage


Reged: 12/12/11

Loc: Rochester, NY
Re: Help with M-13 . new [Re: astroment]
      #5956243 - 07/05/13 03:26 PM

What kind of finder are you using? If you are using a Telrad you should be able to download a chart to help you find it.

If you still can't find it....find a local Club and see if they are having a star party. Someone there should be able to help you easily.


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maakhand
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 09/15/09

Loc: florida, usa
Re: Help with M-13 . new [Re: Brett Carlson]
      #5956360 - 07/05/13 04:42 PM

Get a planisphere to help you . What it does is let you get a proper perspective and relative sizes/positions of neighboring constellations. Finding keystone will be a piece of cake.

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astroment
member


Reged: 06/25/13

Re: Help with M-13 . new [Re: maakhand]
      #5956687 - 07/05/13 08:18 PM

I spotted some free sky map's
http://www.skymaps.com/downloads.html
Align the map easiest way to do this is raise the map up in the sky and try to match the angle in Ursa Major you will need a red led to read the map at night to keep your eyes adapted to the dark if you can't find hercules don't get discouraged I remember when I was first was looking for it was a tough one
try to see if you can make out other constellation's it's like a big jigsaw puzzle once you see one constellation to another then all the pieces will start to come together

Edited by astroment (07/05/13 11:09 PM)


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Illinois
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/18/06

Loc: near Dixon, Illinois USA
Re: Help with M-13 . new [Re: astroment]
      #5957184 - 07/06/13 08:20 AM

AGREE with REC! You seem don't know where is Hercules. You know very bright star far left is Vega in Lyra and you see other bright star far right is Arcfurus in Bootes. You see C or more like U shape of stars is Corona Borealis is left of Bootes. Then little left of stars shape like C or U is Hercules. Look until you can able to see a whole Hercules then look 4 stars and M13 is almost in between of 2 stars. If you find M13 then you will find it easy for rest of your life. I think you live in light pollution and go little darker sky to able to find Hercules.

Edited by Illinois (07/06/13 08:22 AM)


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BrooksObs
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/08/12

Re: Help with M-13 . new [Re: Illinois]
      #5957239 - 07/06/13 09:24 AM

To be honest, I've seen very little in these two pages of posts that in my opinion is truly helpful in the case of a beginner who seems unable to ID the constellations. I sometimes wonder what has become of the hobby when reading these threads. Does everyone now first run out and purchase their telescope and expect to quickly find celestial showpieces without knowing the basic outlines/star patterns of the constellations? Is it perhaps that folks today are attempting to observe under conditions so poor that only fragments of the constellations are apparent to them under their bright skies, rendering their observation worthless anyway? Or maybe it is a combination of both?

In my opinion the place to start is always to learn the constellations well first and have a paper atlas at hand. That allows you to always find things regardless of the scope you are using and under all but the worst of sky conditions. I meet so many would-be hobbyists these days that are totally lost without their GoTo scopes and this I regard as becoming an increasingly sad state of affairs.

So, my advice is to put the telescope aside for just a little while. Acquire a nice, medium-scale, book-type star atlas and perhaps a pair of inexpensive binoculars. Then go out and learn what the sky actually looks like and find your way around it to locate things. Only then come back to that telescope.

BrooksObs

Edited by BrooksObs (07/06/13 09:46 AM)


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astroment
member


Reged: 06/25/13

Re: Help with M-13 . new [Re: BrooksObs]
      #5957536 - 07/06/13 01:29 PM

When I started learning the constellation's was using the sky chart's in Astronomy Magazine
I was 16 at the time now 40 That was back in 1989 I still have those magazine's try picking one up also here's a dark sky map that show's the light pollution
http://www.blue-marble.de/nightlights/2012
try to see if you can get out of the light zone
if you can see the milky way then you are in a good dark place

Edited by astroment (07/06/13 02:33 PM)


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Sorny
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/15/12

Loc: Southern MN
Re: Help with M-13 . new [Re: astroment]
      #5958160 - 07/06/13 09:00 PM

The problem: light pollution.
The solution: GoTo. Also worth mentioning are various push-to systems. A smart phone and Sky Safari will also work wonders.


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