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So I finally had a clear morning before work and was looking at Jupiter and my view was exactly as Stellarium predicted. I then turned to M42 which is one of the brightest and was rewarded with a slight haze around the center cluster of stars.

I am not actually sure what I am suppose to be able to see? Does anybody have a single frame capture of what M42 should look like at 30x magnification with just your eye, no filters?

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If you plug your equipment details into this

http://www.12dstring.me.uk/fov.htm

You will get a pretty accurate representation of the field of view the object should occupy i.e. how much of the whole view it will take up. As for the actual appearance of the object, detail and so on varies widely depending on the equipment used.

thanks

Chris

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Your eye doesn't 'build up' photons like a camera does, so you will never see the likes of images you will see posted on the forum here. The best you will see with an average amateur scope will be a faint grey "fuzzy". Some filters like the UHC or OIII will help with certain DSOs. Globular/Open clusters look impressive through the eyepiece but don't expect too much from nebula and galaxies. You're not going to see Hubble quality images from your ep.

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Good advice above, also you need time at the eyepiece. If you are 'messier bagging' and ticking off a list  you are not going to let your eyes adapt to the object and bring out detail.

It would help us if you could tell what kit you are using at the time.

Some beautiful dark skies in Canada.

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I then turned to M42 which is one of the brightest and was rewarded with a slight haze around the center cluster of stars.

Much depends on conditions. How transparent was the sky? Any light pollution, including that darned Moon? Was it even faintly approaching dawn, or still dusk?

With the same telescope (my 10") and the same eyepiece, looking at M42 I've seen it as both a hazy arc with the 4 stars of the Trapezium, and I've seen it as a huge, mind-numbing, billowing cloud of stuff, with dark lanes in it, and the glow of the Running Man nebula (NGC 1973/5/7) nearby. The only things that could've changed were 1) my dark adaptation, and 2) the sky I was looking through.

Keep trying! Oh, and one thought - could looking at Jupiter be ruining your dark adaptation?

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It seems very hard to get a photograph to represent what you actually see through a telescope. I'm getting into the habit of searching google for sketches of objects while planning an evening of observation.

If you haven't already heard about it a hundred times on this forum you should take a look at the book "Turn Left at Orion". I don't think there's a single photo in the whole book, instead every object has a sketch of what it should look like through both a small telescope and a larger scope and a what sort of magnification. I find it useful for making sure I'm at least in the same neighbourhood as the object I'm searching for.

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Thanks for all the input. I never thought of checking sketches.

I just got the scope with junk tripod and mount. Made a new mount and trying to learn colimation. I just didnt know what to expect.

Scope is a Bushnell clone 114x900mm with a terrible 20mm eyepiece. I have a CZJ 50mm wied field thats phenominal and I can see two of Juipiters moons.

BTW, looking at Jupiter in 0deg weather is like watching a welding torch.

If we get clear skies I am going to head 20miles out of town and see what difference it makes. The moon is a pain in the but up here, I can read a book and take cellphone pictures with shadows at 2am sometimes.

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With a small scope you should be able to see the 4 galileo moons So you have some sorting to do with the scope. It may be out of collimation, plenty of good guides here on SGL to sort that out... Your 50mm lens must be right on the limit for the lowest mag for your scope. Do treat yourself to a decent eyepiece, if you have not downloaded a planetarium try stellarium its great and free, to be found here ;--  http://www.stellarium.org/....

From your description of light you must be in down town Toronto!!

Best Regards

Damian

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Unminded, you might find this link of some use which tries to go over some of the doubts you have raised in this thread.

Thanks for that link, helped a lot. I was not expecting colour or anything but I was expecting to see more shape than just an ambiguous grey mass. Unfortunately most of my clear skies this month have been on mornings 60-90min before sunrise looking over the glare of the city of 300,000 people 10km away. Looks like I should keep my observation to planets and the moon in my back yard and wait for a good weekend for the messiers.

I have recently discovered the difference between cloud cover and transparency as well. A full moon on a high transparency day does not wash things out, but as soon as theirs some particulate in the sky anything within 40-50deg of the moon is glared out...

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