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M1?


DazC
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Other more seasoned observers will be along shortly im sure but i have not seen it in my 10" dob as of yet, only been out though twice in the last week and with the moon out and conditions not great i'm not surprised i didn't see it.

I think you will need pretty dark and steady skies to view it.

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M1, the Crab Nebula, can be quite a hard object to find but should be visible in a 130mm scope on a dark night. It resembles an ill defined oval patch of faint light and is best viewed with a low power eyepiece. Any moonlight in the sky or much light pollution will make it very difficult or impossible to find so wait for a really dark night. A UHC filter will make it stand out a little more. Once found for the 1st time it gets easier to find again the next time, as is so often the way.

M1 is one of those objects that is harder to observe than it's fame suggests it should be :icon_salut:

Edited by John
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As another beginner it wasn't too hard to find in my 200P Skywatcher with no filter from my light polluted back garden (limiting magnitude about 5.0)...

So on a dark night and with a dark sky you stand a GREAT chance...

Just a fuzzy grey lozenge shape for me and didn't look any different at x100 than it did at x40 (just bigger)

But I doubt you'll be seeing it till the moon's out the way!

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I have "seen" M1 in my ST80... it was a real struggle, and I had to take some time to convince myself that the incredibly faint grey smudge wasn't something either on the optics, or in my eye. Absolutely no danger of my seeing anything more than that though with the kit I have. It was a good clear night, and no moon though.

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M1 is a strange one. Some people report that it is not too difficult and is similar to say m57.

This is not my experience at all, I've never managed to spot it, although I can easily see m57 in my 66mm refractor from my garden.

Dark skies and a good sized aperture seem to be needed as others have said.

Stu

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As a beginner I viewed it with my 8" dob in my back garden (limiting mag 4.5). It was faint but distinctly visible. From a dark site it's easy with any aperture, though there's little detail to be seen. Key to finding it is to have a sufficiently detailed star chart so you can get to the exact spot - sweeping the general area in the hope that it will stick out is a lot less effective, and at a light-polluted site may be impossible.

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Very much depends on the darkness of the background. I've seen it through bins from 10x50. It's a 2 degree Telrad circle above Zeta (Taurus). A UHC will pick out the shape and some mottling at x60. It really depends on the seeing conditions, some nights it's a struggle to find.

Visually it's not a wow object. Best show folk and tell them what they 're seeing ( supernova remnant from 1054 AD, expanding at 1000km a sec).

Historically of interest as being first on Messiers list of don't mistake this for a comet list.

As you're now in the area scratching your head looking for the Crab;

Swing left to hit M35 and straight up to Auriga for 3 stunning clusters M37,36 and 38. That'll wow 'em.

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Ive tried with my 8" several times without success. Even when my mount was hitting all the targets i was looking for right in the center...

Unfortunately however, this is due to my typical mag3 light polluted skies.

Im confident though, that if your skies are dark enough, your scope will find it easily.

Im still waiting for my next local star party in the desert so i can appreciate some nice dark skies.

Good luck!!! :icon_salut:

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It is more difficult to observe than M57 as the seeing conditions are more important - as it is a more diffuse object. On "clear" nights it's fairly easy to spot in a 3 to 4" refractor. You have to look slowly and carefully as it's a smudge agains the background - it's one of those objects than once seen, it's easy to see again!

andrew

Edited by andrew63
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It took me ages to find it. When I finally tracked it down, I was surprised at how big it was in the eyepiece. For some reason, I was expecting something tiny. I couldn't see much detail, a fuzzy blob, but I was chuffed to finally have found it. :icon_salut:

Good luck with the hunt, I wouldn't think it would be too easy to find with a strong moon out.

Edited by Luke
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Thank you all for your help and advice, i'll get myself a detailed map of that area and head off to the hills for some dark skies (when the cloud finally moves on).

I'll also make a point of looking for M35, 36, 37 and 38 as well.

Thanks cotterless45.

Thanks again everyone.

D.C

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M1 is a strange one. Some people report that it is not too difficult and is similar to say m57.

This is not my experience at all, I've never managed to spot it, although I can easily see m57 in my 66mm refractor from my garden.

Dark skies and a good sized aperture seem to be needed as others have said.

Stu

Agreed. M57 is much brighter and would take quite a bit of LP I imagine.

I have seen M1 clearly on a good semi-rural night overhead with my 5" refractor. Any rubbish in the sky and forget about it.

Edited by Double Kick Drum
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It is visible with my 150P but it took a good while to find the first time. I had several fruitless observing sessions before I spotted it. Now I know what to look for it is quite easy to find.

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It took me many, many attempts before I finally nailed this object with my old 4.5" Newt, quite a few years ago now, but still remember it. This was from a moderate site VLM about 5.

I have observed it many times since with varying apertures from a 4" frac to my 16" Dob. Alas for me it's never revealed much even in the 16" Dob. But I have yet to catch it in a favourable position in the sky. Every time I get round to observing it, it seems badly placed.

Maybe some others have had more luck?

Regards Steve

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Agree with the comments given on its elusive nature, you would expect using Go To would nail it but, as mentioned already, when I looked at it I did not pick it out, more down to not understanding exactly how it would appear through the eyepiece I would think.

A few more nights passed before I did observe it and then it struck me just why I had looked straight through it before.

I was using a Celestron 6se at the time with skies similar to Steve's around 4.6 FLM .

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I have a couple of 4.5" scopes and can see it with both of them, one is an F/5 and the other nearly an F/8.

It looks like a fuzz blob cloud. But it feels good when you do find it.

Easy with binos but took me a year of trying to actually find it.

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Actually, I have managed to spot M1 Crab Nebula with my 4.5" scope a while back, when it was rising just above where a 100 000 inhabitant city was located on the horizon, so there was a fair bit of light pollution.

That said however, it was very tricky to find. Trying to star hop to it from ζ (zeta) Tau, there were a lot of similarly bright stars similarly far from each other, so it was all a bit confusing. Once located though, it was quite distinct and hard to miss again, and even under the light polluted conditions, its irregular shape was nicely apparent. It really is similar in some ways to M57, it is rather small in angular size but quite bright in surface brightess.

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I think with these low contrast objects, the lower the better as you want as much contrast as possible to discern from the background - at least in the finding stage. I wonder if this could explain in a little way why it may be more of a challenge to spot in reflectors? As refractors and binoculars both provide very 'punchy' views it could help to pick these kinds of objects out, particularly if viewing conditions are not ideal. Just a thought.

andrew

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