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JonnyP

I can't find M78?

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As the title says, I'm struggling to find M78 in Orion.

From my backyard with it's restricted view Orion, when visible, is due south from my house, in exactly the direction of the city centre, so looking directly at the most light polluted area.

Am I likely to be able to find M78 in these circumstances, or should I go to a darker site? Is it a difficult object to see anyway?

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M 78 is magnitude 8.3 but it could be swamped by light pollution or a bright moon. Do you own a light pollution filter or a UHC filter. One of those might help. Just checked Stellarium for last night, the moon was quite close to Orion. I think under better conditions you should see it.

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M78 is very difficult from my sub-urban garden...just visible as a tiny triangular puff of smoke on transparent nights in my SW200P

Wouldn't have thought I'd be able to get it with the current moon...

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Thanks guys, I was suspecting that it was the LP and Moon rather than my completely inability! :)

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M78 is a reflection nebula so a filter won't help. Like most nebulae, it's easily swamped by light pollution, so the main thing is to have a dark sky. Other important thing is to know exactly where to look, i.e. have a sufficiently detailed star map. Give it another try once the Moon isn't in the way - if it's still not visible then you might need to make a trip to a darker site.

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I couldn't see it with my 8" scope last night because of the moon. My skies are pretty dark and I've found it fairly easily on a moonless night.

The light pollution certainly won't help, but try when the moons not so close.

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It's quite visible from my suburban garden in my 10" when the moon's not making a nuisance of itself but it is pretty faint.

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I suspect you wouldn't have to travel far to observe it. M78 is a reasonably bright object.

I can observe it from semi-rural skies, where my Southern aspect is slightly spoiled by Medway.

Get the Moon out of the way, it might make the difference.

Good luck!

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M78 is one of the trickier Messier objects in my book. Its integrated brightness may be 8.3, but its surface brightness is not great, and UHC filters do not work, as noted before. An LPR filter (wide band) could help a bit against sodium light, but moonlight is a continuum, so it will wash the nebula out. Having said that, I have spotted it, and more difficult objects in that area (NGC 1999, and 1788) form my suburban garden, so it is possible.

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Yo, Moons's just washing everything out at the moment. otherwise, it's quite easy at low mags. At higher mags, I get a fan shape with 2 stars in a town location.

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Yes, previous posts are correct about UHC filters and reflection nebula. As fairly new to this, filters, reflection nebulae, emission nebulae etc, etc I forgot to check. M78 isn't helped by using a UHC filter but wait until the moon has gone to waning phase and you might stand more of a chance.

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Late to the party, but I've struggled in my light polluted back yard...just manage your expectation on what you'll see. I can JUST make or a faint nebulosity given LP on a moonless night. It is NOT a stand out in my book. Under dark skies I'm sure its a better sight...and the dark nebula around it.

Happy hunting.

Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk

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from a orange zone with no moon , i eventually found it. but only with averted vision. as a small fuzzy blur. as stated dark skies would probably make all the difference.

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M78 is probably the most frustrating Messier other than M33 that I have spotted. It's easy to miss as its so small, and the seeing conditions really affect it. But then I do live a few miles from the centre of Bristol.

Personally I think its overrated, and I have to admit I don't try and observe it much when it's out! :icon_salut:

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Sorted this image out might help with the star pattern, this is as the scope see M78, so it is properly upside down if viewed with Bins...

post-29949-133877729845_thumb.jpg

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