Posted 10 April 2021 - 11:34 PM
Hi all, I'm relatively new to astronomy and I have been using my new Orion Goto Star Seeker IV 150mm (f/5) reflector since this past Christmas to view the stars, the Orion Nebula, Mars, the Moon and M31, M81, and M82 galaxies. I would like to see the galaxies better and wondering if there are any filters that could help. I was looking at the Lumicon UHC and the Orion Ultrablock filters, trying to keep the cost under $100. I'm using a 25mm plossl and the Orion 7.2-21 zoom. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
Update: (April 14, 2021)
I went out last night in our light polluted skies in my backyard. With fairly accurate goto tracking I honed in on M-81 (Bode's Galaxy) and used some of the tips I received from the forum. I let my eyes adjust to the dark, I used little to no red light to set up, also tried to block all peripheral light, and used averted vision. I was surprised how well those simple techniques worked. I was able to see so much more of the galaxy and definitely saw the brighter center with the averted vision thing. I have a New York State Park Star Gazing Permit that allows me access to certain state parks on Long Island after they close at dusk. One spot I will soon get to is Hither Hills in Montauk. I have heard from many that it offers some of the darkest skies on the island for viewing. I have been to Montauk so many times and know how dark the skies are out there but I only brought my surfboard not my telescope (this time I'll bring both).
Congrats for your close encounter with Bode's Galaxy!
You got your answer re:filters but along the lines of what Tony Flanders and others did, I'd like to suggest two "light-pollution-resistant" galaxies for observation from your backyard: M94 (in CVn, the "Cat's Eye" or "Croc's Eye") and the awesome M104 ("Sombrero Galaxy").
Possible from the city for a newbie like us, but definitely harder: M51 (Whirlpool, wonderful), M63 (Sunflower), M64 (Black-eye), M65 and M66 (part of Leo's trio).
To find them, and for your edification on Messier objects, may I suggest Tony's awesome guide: https://tonyflanders...essier-project/
These suggestions are the result of a one-month struggle with galaxy-hunting in urban settings (in the center of Milano, I'm around Bortle 7). I feel your pain and am a bit jealous of your getaway opportunity ;D But note this: while the Moon is up it will be much much harder to see dim objects like most galaxies are, even under a darker sky. I'll resume the quest from April 29, and meanwhile enjoy colorful doubles, the last visible bright clusters from Winter season, and the Moon itself.
Happy quest and clear skies!