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Colour in the globulars...M3 & M5?


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I was looking at globulars recently, conditions were very good. I was left with the impression of colour in M3 and M5, pale blue is what I think I saw. It was only the following day I realised that I had seen colour! :D

I was using a 12" well collimated F5 dob and a Nagler 17T4.

I was thinking, did this really happen? Is it possible to see colour in M5 and M3? Is it posible or was I just seeing aberrations?

Didn't see colour in M53 which is much further away.

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When I was younger, I saw colors in many objects that I don't see now.

A few weeks ago, I saw Omega Centaurus naked eye and it certainly had a red hue, but, in the scope, it was white speckles.

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M3 certainly seemed blue'ish to me a week or so ago. I had a couple of nights around new moon with clear dark skies and good seeing, it was fab. M13 was also the best I have ever seen from home though this didn't show any colour that I noticed.

I was only using a 6" Newt and a Meade 8.8mm UWA, but I think I got the collimation spot on. Combined with the excellent observing conditions, everything just sang. A few nights like that when I finally get my own 10" and I will be a happy man.

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Omega was only about 5 or 6 degrees above the horizon when I saw it. I am sure any redness I saw was due to that.

I live at 32deg North and our dark site has great horizons. If it weren't for the giant paper mill about 10 miles south, it would be perfect.

From the beach, we can see Achernar, but, only for about 1/2 hour.

Once, when I was in my 20s, we saw Alpha Centari from here, by using the light bending aspect of the atmosphere. It was pretty cool.

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If you look at a typical colour-magnitude diagram (CMD) for globulars, you will see that the very blue stars are brighter than the very red ones, so it would not be altogether surprising if the colour-impression was slightly "shaded" towards blueness.

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I recently saw M13 as blue in a 31mm Nagler / 22" f5 dob combo. stunning.

Same as, but with 16" F4.5. Also thought I could see individual red stars in the core when @305x (12mm T4 Nagler + Powermate)

If you look at a typical colour-magnitude diagram (CMD) for globulars, you will see that the very blue stars are brighter than the very red ones, so it would not be altogether surprising if the colour-impression was slightly "shaded" towards blueness.
Initially thought I maybe was imagining it, but perhaps not.;)

Regards Steve

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  • 2 weeks later...
A lot of this is to do with how good your vision is. I have never seen colour in Globular clusters with my 16".

Agreed, more than the impression of a blueish tinge in M13 I never got. It may actually be influenced by images you have seen before (i.e. be wishful thinking). This is why I tend not to look at photographs of DSOs before hunting them down. I only check my notes/impressions with actual images afterwards.

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A lot of this is to do with how good your vision is.

Don't know if I would say I had good vision But, where others see green in M42 I see turquoise and blues, so from that I would say that my eyes must be more blue sensitive than other people.

Regards Steve

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