M31 Andromeda Galaxy

Observation time: 2012-12-28 02:30Z
Conditions: full moon low on horizon, relatively clear but still humid.
Equipment: 8″ Newtonian / Dob, 25mm eyepiece, 48x.

Success! Saw the Andromeda Galaxy. Found it first with binoculars, then later with the scope. Hardest thing I’ve found yet, I keep looking on moonlit nights where even mag 3 stars are hard to spot clearly. I found it by spotting the Square, then beta And and mu And and walking that over to the right area. Finding it first with binoculars was a huge help, I had some idea what to expect. Then with the scope, just methodically scanning the area until I found the fuzzy glow. Really is hard working a Dobsonian mount to track something right at the zenith.

Sort of a disappointing sight; what it looked like to me was just a fuzzy blob with a bright star in the middle, I couldn’t make out any particular oval shape. I wasn’t able to see the other two nearby galaxies; didn’t try very hard.

Stellarium simulated view