Andromeda Galaxy with Binoculars

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DCWZ
 
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Andromeda Galaxy with Binoculars

Postby DCWZ » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:30 pm

Hi all,
I'm new to astronomy, and I recently bought a pair of 10x40 binoculars off Carousell. It seems pretty decent and has led to to see quite a lot of fainter stars and asterisms I never thought I'd see here in SG. So for the last two nights I turned my attention to looking for the Andromeda Galaxy in the northeast, as people from other cities said it was not that hard to look for given its relatively high surface brightness (approx 3.5). But no matter how I looked through my kitchen window I couldn't find it, despite Stellarium telling me I was looking in the right direction. Especially weird was the fact that I could see (what I think was) the fainter star Nu Andromedae (4.5).
Anyone can provide some feedback based on experience? Is it really not as bright as I thought, too fuzzy and faint to see in a binoculars of this this size in SG, or is there something I did/did not do that's preventing me from seeing it? Thanks!

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Re: Andromeda Galaxy with Binoculars

Postby geyes30 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:54 pm

The star is, for all intents and purposes, an infinitely small point. M31, on the other hand, is rather large. So, although the galaxy has a higher total brightness, it is relatively dim on a per-unit-area basis. The problem with binoculars is that, unless it is stably mounted, you are looking at different positions all the time - i.e. the image cannot build in your visual perception. I have been able to see M31 through a pair of 12x36 stabilized binoculars in Singapore, so the magnification and aperture of your binoculars is definitely sufficient.

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Re: Andromeda Galaxy with Binoculars

Postby Airconvent » Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:12 pm

Andromeda is actually a bright naked eye object (the core at least) in dark skies. I recall seeing it unmistakingly amongst the star field in Mersing. With my 10x50 bino, I can see the core clearly. You need to scan slowly and make sure your eye is sufficiently dark adapted for normal Singapore skies. Sweep slowly and try to catch a very faint oval shape. If you can miss it if you scan too fast.
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DCWZ
 
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Re: Andromeda Galaxy with Binoculars

Postby DCWZ » Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:22 am

Thanks to both of your suggestions! I'll definitely consider them. Am I just expecting to see a faint light patch in the sky? I've managed to image it before, but just don't know what I'm expecting to see.

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Re: Andromeda Galaxy with Binoculars

Postby geyes30 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:49 am

When I saw it with my binos, it was a little cloud that was stationary. To make sure you are really seeing it, and not just your eyes playing tricks on you, move your binos around a bit. :D

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Re: Andromeda Galaxy with Binoculars

Postby ahernep » Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:35 pm

Yeah, I saw it in 10x50s in relatively dark skies, could make it out naked eye also. If you can find the shape of Andromeda and follow the short arm you should find it after a few slow slow passes
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Re: Andromeda Galaxy with Binoculars

Postby DCWZ » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:05 pm

Thanks for the replies! By the way, are Jupiter's 4 moons and the Orion nebula visible through such a binocular? I have tried in Jupiter before, and all I saw was a tiny disk of Jupiter, without her moons. As for Orion Nebula, I have not tried due to recent cloudy mornings, but just want to ask for experiences.

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Re: Andromeda Galaxy with Binoculars

Postby Airconvent » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:59 pm

If you can mount your bino on a firm tripod, it's possible to see the moons using a 14x50 binos. Orion is naked eye actually, so on a bino it would be quite clear. As long as the sky is reasonably good.
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Re: Andromeda Galaxy with Binoculars

Postby DCWZ » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:38 am

Airconvent wrote:If you can mount your bino on a firm tripod, it's possible to see the moons using a 14x50 binos. Orion is naked eye actually, so on a bino it would be quite clear. As long as the sky is reasonably good.


Thanks for the reply! Well as much as I'd like to have dark skies too, getting out of the intense light pollution of Singapore is not an option for me in the very near future. T.T So I would like to know more about your personal experiences in the Singaporean context if possible! :)


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