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Should I be able to see this through my 12" LX200?

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#1 Psa19one

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 10:39 AM

Twice in two observing sessions I have tried to find NGC 891 (the "Outer Limits" edge on galaxy) with my 12" LX200 but can't seem to locate it. The first night, I was battling lunar light pollution. Last night, however, was a darker night (though I still have some local light polution). I still couldn't locate it -- averted seeing, wiggling the image, nothing...

According to Trusock's report on Andromeda, you should be able to detect this galaxy with an 8" 'scope. I just can't see it for some reason... am I missing something here?

#2 LivingNDixie

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 11:00 AM

Yes you should be able to see this object in a 12in. I have seen it in my 8in scope quite a few times. Do you have alot of local light pollution? I am sure you have synced off something nearby to just to make sure you have the right field?

#3 Psa19one

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 11:45 AM

Hi Preston,

Thanks for responding. Yeah, we have street lights around, still, I've been able to at least see some faint objects with averted viewing. The GOTO seems to be spot on for every other object I've plugged into the Autostar.

I tried my 25mm MK-70 (~122x), my 30mm 1rpd (~102x), my Meade 40mm SuperWide (~76x), and my 52mm Erfle (~58x), and simply couldn't spot it. Weird, huh?

#4 jrcrilly

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 01:01 PM

If your location is as bad as mine you might be unable to see it. NGC891 is one of those objects that I can't see from here, but can image (so I know the telescope is pointed right!).

#5 RGM

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 04:29 PM

Another dark sky object. I can "see" it with my 3" and my 8" gives a nice view - under dark skies.

#6 Psa19one

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 06:44 PM

Well, this is quickly becoming a quest! :waytogo: Doggone it, I'm gonna see this sucker yet!

#7 oldsalt

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 08:02 PM

Kevin,
Get to the darkest skies you can within a reasonable distance from your home. That 12" scope should allow you to see most anything you'd like if its really dark.

#8 Psa19one

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 09:26 PM

Hi Jim,

yeah, I've had one opportunity thus far to take it under truly dark skies...and I was completely blown away. There is just nothing like dark skies! I didn't seek NGC-891 out that night, though. I suppose I'm going to have to load this big sucker up sometime soon and haul it out again to the country. It's just that here in Wisconsin it gets SO COLD IN THE WINTER!!!! :bigshock:

#9 oldsalt

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Posted 26 November 2005 - 03:03 PM

Kevin,
Been there in the winter, my wife is from St.Francis, Wisc. Done a few winters in Maine to yeah it does get a might chilly.

#10 Starman1

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 02:38 AM

Hi Jim,

yeah, I've had one opportunity thus far to take it under truly dark skies...and I was completely blown away. There is just nothing like dark skies! I didn't seek NGC-891 out that night, though. I suppose I'm going to have to load this big sucker up sometime soon and haul it out again to the country. It's just that here in Wisconsin it gets SO COLD IN THE WINTER!!!! :bigshock:

Dress warmly, and the cold will be tolerable. Always cover your feet, hands, and head.
NGC891 has a low surface brightness--just a trace of light pollution spoils it. In a dark site, it's easy in a 6" and 12" will show details in the dark lane. In a brighter site, a 20" scope can barely detect it with averted vision.
Get thee to a dark site, my friend.
Don

#11 snorkler

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 10:51 AM

It's just that here in Wisconsin it gets SO COLD IN THE WINTER!!!! :bigshock:


Well, in your quest for dark skies, you could continue driving until you reach Arizona, or Florida ;-)

As others have said, and you've discovered, NGC 891 needs dark skies. I've seen it from a Clear Skies Clock "green" site in 10" and 12.5" scopes, and it wasn't impressive even then. It took views through 18" and 25" scopes to really show it look comparable to NGC 4565 and NGC 253

#12 Psa19one

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 12:57 PM

Thanks, everyone. You know, we've got some awesome dark skies around here (lots of rural area). My desire to catch a glimpse of this and other DSOs is gonna drive me out in the cold one night soon. Incidentally, I have found even M51 to be quite challenging under our light polluted skies here in town. How much aperature do you need (with dark skies) to see some detail in the spiral arms?

#13 Starman1

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 04:23 PM

My 12.5" shows the spiral arms and knots within them, and the bridge to the companion, as well as a faint spiral arm extending the galaxy considerably in the direction opposite the companion.
My old 8" showed the arms, but little detail other than a spiral pattern.
My 6" would occasionally show the spiral arms as separate things with averted vision only.
My 5" Mak. sees the spiral shape and the companion, but not the bridge, and the spiral arms, though vaguely seen, cannot be traced their lengths.

#14 watecger

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 04:25 PM

An alternative to a dark site would be to buy a video camera like the Stellacam II or Mallincam. The viewing with the 12" (and a focal reducer) will be comparable to a 30" used at a dark site! Light pollution and Full Moon are no longer a real problem, especially when using a deep sky filter.

If you go to the Stellacam Yahoo group (look for the Photos section, map called "Lonnie"), you will find some nice live images (not processed!) made with a Stellacam and C14 at F/1.9 (Hyperstar).

Richard

#15 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 01:19 AM

I have seen it in a dark sky with 9.25. In a black bortle sky rating, it's surprizing how bright some Mag 8-9 objects are.

According to my computer NGC 891 is a Mag 10 object. It will be high in the sky this time of year around midnight - which gives you your best chance of seeing it. With no moon in medium city limits, it may be possible to see some faint whisper in city limits but I seriously doubt it.

My I3 may be able to see NGC 891 from where I am. I think? I have looked at it through the I3 in city skys. But I would not even try with my regular optics.

From a city location, when I see Mag 8.5ish and above on the GOTO screen I usually move on when I observe from a city location.

#16 Rusty

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 10:37 PM

In my limited experience, NGC 891 is either elusive, or it pops right out, depending on seeing conditions - there seems to be no middle ground. With dark skies, it's stunning in my N11.

#17 JMP

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 11:29 PM

I've seen it with a 12 dob from a dark site. It'll be large with low surface brightness. Try the 40mm superwide again. When I showed it to two friends, they both said "I don't see it" I said look again, its a large faint glow right across the middle and they looked and said "Oh, yeah, there is something". Actually I was pleased with the view, I could see the dust lane. I cannot see 891 with my C5, at least not so far.

Jeff Phillips
Eugene, Oregon

#18 TusconBob

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 12:01 PM

Re: Arizona dark skies..

Unless you live way out in the boonies, the areas around Tucson and Phoenix are as bad if not worse than many areas east of the Mississippi for light pollution. It is really sad how this has been allowed to happen. We have no street lights, but some neighbors install street type lights on poles in tha alleys behind their houses for "security" or high intensity decorative lights in their front yards. Kitt Peak is even suffering from the insensitivity of the Tucson area's residents. It has reduced my desire for looking at the skies.

#19 Starman1

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 01:39 PM

The previous posts sadden me.
My first view of NGC 891 was through a 4-1/4" reflector in 1965. I've seen it since in a 4" SCT, 5"MCT, and seen the dark lane clearly in a 6" scope.
That people think it is hard and difficult to see tells me how far our skies have deteriorated.
From my notes written when viewing with a 6"f/5 reflector:
"Long ellipse,moderately faint,center bulge,dark lane bifurcating,one end longer than other,in rich star field,Wow!"
I think the key, in addition to sky brightness, may be water vapor content of the air. Even with my 12.5", it's not impressive when there's a lot of extinction due to water in the air.
The growth of lighting is infuriating.
I was at a party out in the hills overlooking LA last night, and the naked eye limit was about mag.3.5. That's terrible for perfectly clear skies with no humidity (not even any dew). Yet the people there were amazed at the number of stars visible.
If they only knew.........

#20 TusconBob

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 02:53 PM

I know...Wife and I have travelled to remote areas of the Southwest, far from civilization just to see the skies as our ancestors did. We do not have the humidity problem some areas of the country do. The other day the dewpoint was 2 degrees below zero Farenheit. I do not know why so many lights are placed in such a way as to send scattered light upward rather than down. There must be a large portion of society that is still afraid of the dark!!


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