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Old 29-04-2021, 09:09 AM
castor
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Ursa Major - Top End Australia

I'm going on my first proper vacation since the pandemic started - to the Northern Territory!!

While I have seen the Plough from Darwin (and partially from Queensland) before, I have not gone into dark sky territory in the NT. I wonder if anyone has been able to catch any of the Ursa Major galaxies with binoculars (M81, M82) from anywhere in Oz. I have only done so from the USA.

Also any suggestions on what to pack with me on my trip? 16x70 Fujinons, 72ED, 80ED or 60ED scope?
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Old 29-04-2021, 09:16 AM
Tropo-Bob (Bob)
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Here in Cairns, M81 & M82 only rise 3 to 4 degrees above the horizon and I needed an 8" Dob to see them.

Darwin is further north, so it may be possible with binos.
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Old 29-04-2021, 09:35 AM
castor
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So invisible even with a small refractor?

They have a declination of +70 which means that from Darwin, at latitude -12, they culminate at an altitude of 8 degrees.
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Old 29-04-2021, 10:36 AM
Tropo-Bob (Bob)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by castor View Post
So invisible even with a small refractor?

They have a declination of +70 which means that from Darwin, at latitude -12, they culminate at an altitude of 8 degrees.
Yes, I think that may be a difficult challenge with a small scope.
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Old 29-04-2021, 01:04 PM
castor
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I might also attempt to see if I can find Gamma and Beta Ursae Minoris - the two guardians of the pole, in the Little Dipper. In theory they are visible from Darwin. Do you know what time they culminate in early May?
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Old 29-04-2021, 07:34 PM
Finbar (Barry)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by castor View Post
I might also attempt to see if I can find Gamma and Beta Ursae Minoris - the two guardians of the pole, in the Little Dipper. In theory they are visible from Darwin. Do you know what time they culminate in early May?
According to Stellarium, from Darwin on the night of 04/05 May, for example:
Beta UMi - culminates about 3.5 alt around 00:40am
Gamma Umi - culminates about 5.75 alt around 1:30am

Hope this helps.
Barry
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