I have never seen M33 naked eye from nearby Webster, MA, where my sky
limiting magnitude rarely exceeds 5.3 or 5.4. It is always an easy target in
my 10 x 50 binoculars and in my 4" Astroscan (given a reasonably clear
night). In my 8" SCT it is more problematic seeing the whole galaxy clearly,
although the bright star forming region is always easy to spot.
In darker locales, where limiting magnitude exceeds 6.0 (such as at Frosty
Drew Observatory in Charlestown, RI), M33 is often a naked eye object,
requiring only a general idea of its location to spot it easily, even with
direct vision. We have noted spiral structure using FDO's 16" LX200, although
the galaxy more than fills that scope's largest field of view. Several other
smaller star forming regions have also been observed with that scope.
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