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Ring Nebula


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Hi folks,

Quick but probably stupid question.

Is the trapezium under Vega visible with the naked eye?

Going to get my scope out in a bit on a ring nebula hunt but can see the trapeIum. Am just wondering g if it's something I'll only see With my scope.

Thanks

Paul.

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Hi Paul,

Not a silly question at all!

Yes, it's easily visible with the naked eye if your skies are half decently dark.

If you find the bottom two stars of the trapezium shape, ie the two furthest down from Vega, then align your finderscope with them both showing in the field of view, you will have M57 in your sights, although you almost certainly won't see it with your finder. Just get your finder cross hairs centred on the centre of an imaginary line joining the bottom two trapezium stars, and then look in your main scope with a low power eyepiece. If you scan back and forth slowly, you should see the ring nebula as a faint "smoke ring", quite readily.

I don't know how big your scope is, but it should be visible with a 3" refractor or larger. A 4" frac or 5/6 inch reflector or Maksutov will show it very clearly. You might have to use averted vision at low power. I find that a higher power of x70 to x100 darkens the background sky, enhancing the contrast, and makes the Ring easier to see.

Hope this helps, and good luck in finding it!

Dave

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Tha ks so much for the detailed response.

I can't make out the trapezium so guess I'm cursed with bad skies. I can make out bright objects but am yet to see a dso.

My scope is a 4" newtonian.

I guess I'll just keep staring up at vega and hoping I make out the trapezium then I can follow your superb guide.

Thanks

Paul

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Hi Paul. Do you have any binoculars which you could use to find the trapezium stars first so you know you are in the right place? Might just help you get orientated.

Dave is spot on about the magnification. On a couple of occasions, I've been looking for it with low mag and been in exactly the right place and it's just not visible. Switch to higher power and it just jumped into view.

I am pretty sure I've seen it with a 66mm refractor under fairly light polluted skies so you should be ok but if you can't see the four stars at all then your skies sound quite tough. If you don't get it, a short trip to somewhere slightly darker will do it.

Good luck!

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My scope is a 4" newtonian.

No problem seeing it with that scope, have seen it myself through a 4 1/2" newt many times.

It appears as a small smokey ring even at low power, so you shouldn't miss it.

Regards Steve

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best way is get Vega in the finder, then look for the double double. this will be a close pair of stars (which are also each a double hence the name) which is at just about quarter to if Vega is the centre of a clock face. at half past there are two very wide stars which is the top of the trapezium. to the right and below these (all the time in the finder) is the pair you want. there's two very nright ones and between them a third from the bottom is another. halfway between this star and the top bright one is the ring. hopefully this will help even if you cannot see the shape naked eye.

hope you get it, one of my fave objects.

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I bagged M57 for the first time last night, through relatively light-polluted skies with some high cloud drifting around. A couple of nights ago I couldn't make out the trapezium either, but it was quite obvious last night. Maybe the OP needs to try again on a different night when atmospheric conditions are different. It's worth the wait, what an amazing object!

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Hi folks,

Thanks for all the replies. I had some computer problems so couldn't reply.

Gonna take on board all your have added to this and try to hit it next time it's clear. Tonight it's cloudy, cloudy, cloudy...must be all the ash!

And now it's started raining. Grrrrr.

Thanks and will keep you updated.

Paul

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  • 2 weeks later...

One of the first DSO's I found.

Seen it with my small 130pm at light polluted Birmingham.

To locate it,I used Stellarium.

Clicked on M57,then star hopped looking in my eyepiece and comparing it with what I could see on my laptop screen.

Found it in a relative short amount of time......:)

Wayne

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