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Another Perspective On M31 And M33

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Posted by Jason Oliphant on November 23, 2003 23:12:00 UTC

ok. this is months later; but I just couldn't resist the chance to add my experience on M31 and M33. I've seen both in a 5" reflector and in binocs, and there's no contest; binocs win out for interest.

In my 15*70 M31 spreads out like two water fountains. this is a soft glow spraying out from an indistinct core, that must go out 1 or so. the dissapointment is understandable with a scope, you're just seeing 1/3 of the picture even at low magnification. you might see detail I can't, but in binocs M31 demand your respect for its sheer size.

M33 was a fun object that with good contrast is easy and catching in binocs. you've seen old star treks TV shoes showing inconspicious amoebe blobs and you've seen M33 in bincos. I like forward to the night with enough contrast to make out one or two M33 major structures. many of those have ngc numbers. I know I can see them with a good enough night and some determination...

I'd not give up on M33/31 with a scope because of its appearance that doesn't even begin to look like the pictures. But I do recommend looking viewing it with big aperature binocs to appreciate the 'big' picture.

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