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Posted by Bob Sal on November 27, 2001 20:53:45 UTC

This is what we mean by star hopping. If you found the Circle of Pisces in the sky, you should be able spot the Square of Pegasus close by. The square is huge compaired to the circle, look at the size difference on the map. The idea is to find a star in the sky that's close to object your looking for. Then you just move the telescope a little at a time till you find what you looking for. It's not an exact science and there will be some trial and error. The Greek letters on the map are the names of the stars. The brightest star in the constillation is Alpha, then Beta, then Gamma etc. There should be a key somewhere on the map or in the book if your not famillare with them. Now to get to M31, find the square of Pegasus. One of the stars in the square is actually part of the constillation Androneda. That's Alpha And. Find this stuff on the map first. Follow these stars in And. Alpha, Delta, Beta, Mu, and Nu. M31 is right next to Nu (Nu looks like a V). That is a naked eye star, dim but visible. If you can spot that star in the sky, point your scope at it, then just circle around a little in the direction of M31 and you'll get it. If you have a pair of binoculars, any size, it's visible in them. See if you can spot it with them first. Find the square and just follow the stars. You'll get used to how much you need to move the scope after a while. One more thing, If you can spot the big "W" of Cassiopeia, the upper portion points right to M31. Also, remember, it will not look like the pictures you see. It will look like a big fuzzy cotten oval, bright in the center and disappating as you get further away. Nothing will look like the pictures you see. While your at it, did you look for Saturn or Jupiter yet?
That's it;
BOB SAL

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