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SomethingIrreverent t1_j9b6jem wrote

I live in an area of moderately dark skies, and can just make out the Andromeda Galaxy by eye - and only if I have it just off the center of my vision.

I use a couple of stars from the Andromeda constellation to find it, though Cassiopeia helps too.


TheDotCaptin t1_j9dnkqb wrote

I have to do something similar with the Pleiades. Looking directly at it I see one dim star, but when I look off to the side and move my eye back and forth, I see a weird tiny cluster of dots.

Still am unable to see it well enough to count. Probably needs to be viewed form somewhere even further away from the cities.


ShadowKiller147741 t1_j9ebxic wrote

I live in the middle of a busy nightlife area of a city (ASU in Tempe, AZ) and on clear nights can make Pleiades out fairly well. I also have to have it just off the center of my vision, but counting it isnt too difficult. Also, I'm surprised to see my favorite constellation talked about, since I rarely hear about it


Illusion_Jolted t1_j9e5xiy wrote

Hi! Could you please tell me where are you situated? I love star gazing and have taken few trips to dark sky parks. Honestly the only place wheres I found like complete darkness were creator lake NP in Oregon and big bend NP Texas. Most hyped in my opinion was Death Valley NP, it had so much light pollution from Los Vegas and Los Angles skylights. No matter where I went, there would be no complete darkness. People take photo and edit them to make them appear all beautiful but in reality the place would be sh!t lit from light pollution from nearby cities.


SomethingIrreverent t1_j9f1268 wrote

Yeah, I guess I'm a bit spoiled; my sky is reasonably dark. I'm in a fairly sparsely populated area a bit north of Toronto.


BecomeABenefit t1_j9bco55 wrote

Good news! It's getting closer, so all you have to do is wait.

If you don't want to wait a few hundred million years, you should be able to find it with binoculars if you're a few miles away from a city.


jadnich t1_j9bnms9 wrote

Andromeda, the Galaxy, is easiest to see if you aren’t looking directly at it. It kind of looks like a smudge on the sky. Cassiopeia points nearly right to it, which you said you know already.

I also think it helps to find the constellations Pegasus and Andromeda (the constellation). They are connected, with andromeda being the legs of Pegasus, and Pegasus being a large square in the sky.

When you have that, there is a bend in andromeda constellation that points to the galaxy. If you use both that and Cassiopeia, it is a bit easier.

I found that quality binoculars do a good job of seeing Andromeda. But no method of optics or referencing constellations will work if there is too much light pollution.


vnevner OP t1_j9bphcs wrote

I heard that in fact, the cells for night vision is more in the perifiral, I will try that .


SomethingIrreverent t1_j9cav4a wrote

Best night vision is just a bit off the center of your view. Like a couple of thumb widths at arm's length.


thatbitchulove2hate t1_j9dqcic wrote

According to Matt Walker (the sleep expert), if you hold your thumb out at arm’s length then your thumb nail is roughly the size of what your eyes actually see and your peripheral vision is just your mind filling in what it believes to be there. Also you look at an average of 4 different spots per second even if you don’t feel your eyes moving.


KindAwareness3073 t1_j9dywbi wrote

Three keys to seeing Andromeda: clear dark sky; giving your eyes at least 15 minutes in darkness to develop your "night vision"; and using "averted vision", i.e., not looking directly at it. If done correctly it's surprisingly obvious.


sweart1 t1_j9dlxtk wrote

The two stars in Andromeda constellation that point to it are about as far apart as the distance onward to the galaxy *------*-----0


vnevner OP t1_j9b31v2 wrote

I have a 50mm and a larger one telescope so I can walk anywhere with that one.


Adeldor t1_j9bp4f3 wrote

To the naked eye it'll appear as a faint smudge, best seen with averted vision. If there's any sky illumination by city lights visible, you'll have a very difficult time seeing it with just the eye, even if your locality is dark.


Albertsongman t1_j9bqd6x wrote

You can see if by looking through your peripheral vision. If you look directly at it, it’s invisible to the naked eye.


digggggggggg t1_j9ce9zw wrote

It's going to be hard to see with much light pollution, and it certainly won't look like what you see in pictures. Under your average surburban sky (Bortle 4-5), it'll look like faint smudge with averted vision.

Recommendation would be to use binoculars - you'll know you found it if you see a bright spot with a halo around it, kind of like an out-of-focus star: that's the galactic center. You're unlikely to see any spiral features without a larger telescope and without long-exposure photography.

Andromeda's apparent magnitude of 3.4 is deceiving because that's the overall integration of _all_ light across an area 6 times bigger than the moon. Its surface brightness outside of the galactic center is pretty dim. That's why it's much, much easier to see a star with a comparable apparent magnitude, since the star is essentially a point.


dastardly740 t1_j9cuwl4 wrote

Edit: adding to the comment of someone mentioning size because that is what makes it an interesting target for a basic camera.

This isn't quite the same as seeing it with your own eyes. A digital camera that can do a 10s or so exposure with a delay on a cheap tripod can get you a picture in less than ideal conditions for naked eye viewing. The delay is because I am going cheap, so don't have a remote, which gives time for vibration from pressing the button to die out.

And being so big (and fuzzy), no need for zoom which makes it fairly easy to aim in the general right direction, and end up in frame.


StonkOmaticz t1_j9bc76k wrote

I need at least binoculars in my area ( I absolutely love my binoculars for viewing space ). Trying to find it with my telescope was tough.

I used the constellation right under it. I think it’s called andromeda, it looks like V. I used the set of 2 stars under the galaxy and follow up.


El_mochilero t1_j9d7gj2 wrote

Finding it isn’t a problem. It appears twice as large as a full moon.

The problem is that it is too dim to see with the naked eye. You need optical assistance.


darrellbear t1_j9d8fg8 wrote

It might help if you take a pair of binoculars as well. Once you find it in binos looking in the same direction naked eye can help. And as mentioned, averted vision helps too. Dark skies are necessary, of course, as are dark adapted eyes.


Tutorbin76 t1_j9de2bp wrote

Well firstly you need to be in the northern hemisphere.

Here down under we get the large and small Magellanic clouds and they're impressive in their own right, but not quite on the same scale as Andromeda.


-Lysergian t1_j9dhj2z wrote

Give it a couple billion years, if there's still life in the milky way, for the you that exists then, that forgot the you that is now ever existed, it'll be a lot easier to see then... just give it some time.


Excludos t1_j9efwvu wrote

Protip: Grab an app like StarTracker. It makes it a lot easier to locate specific things in the night sky, and helps you find out what the thing you're looking at actually is


BaltimoresJandro t1_j9eqcjt wrote

Try a dark sky preserve. Almost sure you could from one of those areas.


vnevner OP t1_j9eqf21 wrote

I can't really, I'm 13 but my dad might want to aswell.


BaltimoresJandro t1_j9ewccg wrote

That is a link to a list of all of the Dark sky preserves worldwide.

Your age doesnt have to be a limiting factor. Sit down with your dad and pull up this list and see if you guys can plan to visit one. They are all over the world it may just be a few hour drive.

I didn't see the stars with my eyes until I was 29. It is an extremely moving experience. Good luck!


vnevner OP t1_j9ewgoc wrote

I can see stars but to get away from cities I kinda need a car. Thanks for the link btw!


t4gr4 t1_j9esyer wrote

M31 at the same distance from Cassiopeia as Cassiopeia from Polaris. And, conveniently, it is a straight line.