Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

johnd

My First Messier Object

Recommended Posts

So checked my Collimation and it was out a little on both and having been inspired by how easy it seemed from a Youtube by "Ralph Bell and Robert J Dalby" I decided to have a go. Well, it was fairly easy and the fact that I could still see with my telescope after means I must have been successful.

Got some lovely views of Jupiter and moons high in the sky at 6:15pm last night and then at 8pm with the Moon not up yet, Orion was high enough that the fence to the West wasn’t obstructing my view of the Nebula below the belt. So I saw my first messier object M42. I don't have an actual captured image but I found one close to my view that I saw in terms of size and yes its rotated for my Dob view i.e. upside-down and although there is obviously far more colour in the photo I found  ( see attached), this is pretty much my view with my 12mm EP and 2.2x Barlow, it really was that clear. Wow!

Yes, I know its one of the easiest and brightest to locate but it was still jaw dropping to me.

I had zero success with my trying to find the Leo trio or even double at about 11pm. The moon might have had something to do with it, as I was finding it hard to lock onto chertan in my viewfinder and when I did, I get disoriented with the whole up is down etc and I'm not great at moving tiny amounts with my Dob. I think it would be easier when the moon dims?

Anyway, can't wait for the next chance at M65/66 as the chase is part of the fun for me.

Any other suggestions of Messier objects with my mostly South to SW or High overhead N views of the current skys appreciated.

post-3712-0-55650300-1395319107_thumb.jp

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi ya, and well done on your first Messier object!

I don't think the photo you've attached is actually M42. That's NGC 1973 - the Running Man Nebula - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NGC_1973,_NGC_1975_and_NGC_1977 However, it is very close to M42 - like, same field of view close - and M42 is much brighter, so you'd have struggled to miss it. The thing to look for is the Trapezium - a little Trapezium of 4 stars (or 6 if you've got a bit scope!)

You probably also saw, but might not have noticed M43 too. It's another nebulous bit even closer to M43. There's quite a nice image of all this here - http://www.celestronimages.com/details.php?image_id=1003 The running man is on the right.

Other good Messier objects that are up at the moment? Open clusters - M44 and M67 (much dimmer) in Cancer, early in the evening M36-38 in Auriga might still be worth a look, M35 in Gemini is nice. Lots of galaxies around as you clearly know, but they're VERY hard near the full moon. I don't bother trying at full moon. A couple of the brighter galaxies that are worth a look at M81 and M82 in Ursa Major. 

What else? Globular clusters M3 and M53 should be getting fairly high around midnight, they're worth a look.

So lots, really!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats. The Orion Nebula is a lovely object .

Have you tried "stellarium" it's a free download , and will help you plan and locate objects from your home location including the messiers.

As for the Leo trio, like all galaxies ( faint fuzzies) they require a reasonably dark sky, preferably a new moon and patience . They look like smudged stars quite often . You need to let your eyes become dark adapted too.

Happy hunting.

( ps- you probably viewed 2 messiers , m42 and m43)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on first Messier. M42 is spectacular isn't it! If you're looking for something overhead-ish, how about M36,37 and38 clusters in Auriga. Or M81and M82 galaxies in Ursa Major. You could also check out some doubles. Mizar in the plough, Polaris etc. Orion itself has quite a few doubles etc. So much, and so few opportunities!!

Good luck and clear skies.

Jason

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi ya, and well done on your first Messier object!

I don't think the photo you've attached is actually M42. That's NGC 1973 - the Running Man Nebula - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NGC_1973,_NGC_1975_and_NGC_1977 However, it is very close to M42 - like, same field of view close - and M42 is much brighter, so you'd have struggled to miss it. The thing to look for is the Trapezium - a little Trapezium of 4 stars (or 6 if you've got a bit scope!)

You probably also saw, but might not have noticed M43 too. It's another nebulous bit even closer to M43. There's quite a nice image of all this here - http://www.celestronimages.com/details.php?image_id=1003 The running man is on the right.

Other good Messier objects that are up at the moment? Open clusters - M44 and M67 (much dimmer) in Cancer, early in the evening M36-38 in Auriga might still be worth a look, M35 in Gemini is nice. Lots of galaxies around as you clearly know, but they're VERY hard near the full moon. I don't bother trying at full moon. A couple of the brighter galaxies that are worth a look at M81 and M82 in Ursa Major. 

What else? Globular clusters M3 and M53 should be getting fairly high around midnight, they're worth a look.

So lots, really!

Hi, yes I probably got my image wrong, I find that because my view is upside down its difficult. The above image was cut from the bigger one with M42 also. Thing is when I was trying to remember in my mind (and my upside down view) I had a horseshoe ring to my left and 3 stars that looked just like the Belt in their configuration to its right. Hence, when I went today to have a look on google, when I rotated the image above it seemed to pop out at me as that image. But, I'm a newbie and must have got mixed up. It was still amazing. Would you expect to be able to see both M42/43 and The running man nebula in my 12" + 2.25 Barlow view or would I only see one or other? Its a 12" Dob?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would you expect to be able to see both M42/43 and The running man nebula in my 12" + 2.25 Barlow view or would I only see one or other? Its a 12" Dob?

Well... it depends on the light pollution around you. I find M43 pretty easy, to be honest - it's just another bright patch in the whole Orion Nebula complex. I took my 10" out of town in Feb, so somewhere reasonably dark, and I could see the Running Man Nebula, but not the darker patch of the running man himself, if you see what I mean. The brightness was there, but not the shape. I've not seen it from town, though.

So yes, under the right sky, your 12" will do it nicely!

What I would say is that the whole of this region is HUGE. I was using low magnification - a 28mm  eyepiece - with no barlow or anything, and it was still big in the field of view. So, I'd try a lower power eyepiece, as low as you can get. A 12mm with 2.2 barlow would be the equivalent of, what, a 5mm? I find that's usually just too much magnification in my scope. Things get blurry, dim, and focussing gets hard. I have used it to try to see the Trapezium E and F stars, but that didn't work - where using the 8mm (x150 in my scope) worked nicely. Often, less is more.

So yeah, go easy on the magnification. Always start at low power - it's easier to find things at low magnification, and they appear brighter - and increase from there. That'll give you a view of what you like, magnification wise. It's like planets - I increase the magnification until it's too much, and then back off a bit. But it's always a judgement call. 

Yes, that drawing looks the right shape, though you'll see a lot more detail, conditions permitting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done on your first Messier, one of the best, you'll come back to that time and again.

As Jasonp mentions above their are loads of nice doubles/multiple stars in Orion, Sigma Orionis is especially nice.

Have fun and good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, great image, I would be over the moon (so to speak) if this was my first messier. Congratulations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Orion Nebula was also my first Messier and one I often revisit because it is simply magnificent!  There are some nights when it is especially crystal!  My second Messier and first galaxy was Andromeda which was equally incredible (just knowing what i was looking at).   I wish you clear skies and many more Messiers to come.

Isabelle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JohnD - just seen you used a x2.5 Barlow if I read you right - the last thing you need for big DSOs like M42 etc:-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done. I took a shot of my first Messier recently, M51. Your results are much better than mine, you obviously know what you're doing. I'm looking forward to seeing your future images.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.