Last Sunday night I decided to take my 6" schmidt-cassegrain telescope out for a spin on my front lawn after several weeks of no-use. Despite being a pretty cloudy night, with clouds repeatedly rolling in at the different hours, I was still able to see some really great stuff including the Orion Nebula, Messier 35, Messier 79, the central star cluster of Rosette Nebula, and the Eskimo Nebula (which appeared as a tiny greenish star that was too tiny to show any real detail). However the one thing I was really hoping to see, but I was not able to see were some of the galaxies. I tried going to M95, M81, M82, and M51, but despite that I hit no luck.
My telescope has a motorized go-to mount and my alignment didn't seem to be off since I was able to find all sorts of other objects just find, but I still simply couldn't see any galaxies. I live in a suburb which is a class-7 area on the bortle scale, meaning that its pretty light polluted, but I have heard that you should be able to see at least M81 & M82 from light-polluted skies. Ironically enough in the light-polluted area where I live, I have been able to see the faint glowing core of the Andromeda Galaxy, the faint impression of the Sombrero Galaxy, and some spherical galaxy around the area of Coma Berenices that I never identified, but anything else thats extragalactic I haven't been able to see.
What I am trying to figure out is that is this a problem with my scope size (ie. do I need to upgrade my telescope's mirror size to see more galaxies), is this a problem with the light pollution, or am I just simply really bad at finding faint objects? I also have a getaway that I can go thats in only a level 3 area on the bortle scale: would going there on a moonless night improve my chances? Any help/advice would be tremendously appreciated.
Edited by ZetaOrionis, 20 January 2021 - 03:30 PM.