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what galaxy is good for beginners?

Started by BABOafrica, 04/28/2011 11:42PM
Posted 04/28/2011 11:42PM Opening Post
I'd like to see a galaxy with a 10 inch Dob. I've seen several star clusters and nebulae. I've never managed to get a look at something that even remotely resembles the shape of a galaxy.

Which one should I try first?

BTW, I live on the equator, so M31 is out of reach for me.

I can see M4 next to Antares and the Omega cluster in Centaurus without trouble at all.

CSDTD,
Joe

In lumine tuo videbimus lumen.

8O Home-made 10” Dob / Home-made 4” refractor

EPs: Konig 32mm (1.25") / Zhumell WF 30mm (2") / Nagler 13mm T1 / Orion Sirius Plossls 25 & 10mm / Zhumell Plossl 9 mm / Meade MA 9mm
Posted 04/29/2011 05:11AM #1
Try NGC 5128. It's big and bright, has a awesome dust lane, and is perfect for someone in your location. It's only about 5-10 degrees away from Omega Centauri. Also try M83.

Andreas

DSOs observed:
NGCs 2005, ICs 103, Other 70, Palomar GCs 6, Abell PNs 12, Herschel 400: 316.
Equipment
Celestron CPC 1100, Lunt 60mm Ha Solar Scope
Posted 04/29/2011 06:01AM #2
Here's a finder chart for M83 and NGC 5128.

Andreas

http://www.solarius.net/assets/finder_charts/messier_83.pdf

DSOs observed:
NGCs 2005, ICs 103, Other 70, Palomar GCs 6, Abell PNs 12, Herschel 400: 316.
Equipment
Celestron CPC 1100, Lunt 60mm Ha Solar Scope
Posted 04/29/2011 10:07AM #3
M104 the Sombrero Galaxy in Virgo is on its way to the evening skies and should be a good sight for you. I haven't found it too hard to see in a 4" achromatic refractor and a 5" achromatic refractor (my current telescope) so I'd expect your 10" Dob would make a meal out of it.

I envy you a little for your view of the southern sky wonders. M4 is pretty low in my southern sky and when it comes over my yard it's close to a bunch of trees and sky-glow from a nearby town. So it's kind of dim compared to M5 and M13 which are a good bit further north. When I see The Omega cluster it's only in pictures.

Best Regards,

Mark Costello
Matthews, NC, USA

"I hear you're mechanically inclined. Did you ever do anything with perpetual motion?"

"Yeah, I nearly had it a couple of times."
Posted 04/30/2011 06:44PM #4
Visually all you can see is a glow with unresolved edges. Long exposure (or combined multiple exposures) Photography is required to reveal spiral arms. Historically before photography, galaxies were catagorized along with gas clouds as Nebulae (nebulous-appearing or faint glows of ghostly light) because there was & is no visual difference. You can however detect subtle brightness levels between centers & edges or dust lanes as well as shape, just as with gas clouds (which also do not visually look like their photographs).
Posted 05/09/2011 08:42AM #5
NGC 253 is a very-bright southern galaxy only about 13 MLY away. It is easily visible from my 38 degree northern latitude, so it should be a showpiece from where you are. It is in Sculptor, so unless you are an early riser, you will have to wait six months for it to be situated in your early evening sky.

"Praise the Lord for the expanding grandeur of creation, worlds known and unknown, galaxies beyond galaxies, filling us with awe and challenging our imaginations." 2007 Reform Siddur