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pipnina

Do views of orion improve much if I go to an area of less light pollution?(As well as andromeda)

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I can, from my front yard, see what i'm certain is the orion nebula. It shows up as a sort of dark grey blob (Which is what i'm informed most DSOs look like) But given as this is something many say is visible naked eye. It seems odd to me that's all i'm seeing.

This aside, How dark does it have to be for me to be able to actually see these supposedly naked eye object with my naked eye?

(I do live in a city,  Plymouth, so i get so much LP where andromeda is I can't see the constellation, let alone the galaxy, but the southern sky is better.

 ~pipnina

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Yes and Yes.

Orion is easy to see, but it is not big, the "big" outer bits are also very dim.

Andromeda is too big to get in your scope, all you "see" is the central core and agian the outer bits are dim.

Andromeda is best in binoculars, that way it all fits in, but it is not going to amaze you.

More like - Is that it?

Car, A386 to the golf club below Yelverton, turn left in there and go in a bit, big flat area on the right park up and go observing from there with binoculars. Amdromeda will be easy, watch out for horses and sheep. Used to live along the road there for a while.

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Yes dark grey blobs is one way of putting it, most might say feint fuzzies! But you should be able to see Orion reasonably well from your location and possibly Andromeda ( M31) as well if the seeing is reasonable. With the naked eye it can be difficult depending on the LP or surrounding lights but using binoculars or a scope will open things up a lot better. Many people here including myself observe from towns or the edge of towns. If you cannot get to a darker sky then the least you can try is to observe somewhere away from lights so your eyes get dark adapted.

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Yes and Yes.

Orion is easy to see, but it is not big, the "big" outer bits are also very dim.

Andromeda is too big to get in your scope, all you "see" is the central core and agian the outer bits are dim.

Andromeda is best in binoculars, that way it all fits in, but it is not going to amaze you.

More like - Is that it?

Car, A386 to the golf club below Yelverton, turn left in there and go in a bit, big flat area on the right park up and go observing from there with binoculars. Amdromeda will be easy, watch out for horses and sheep. Used to live along the road there for a while.

Yes dark grey blobs is one way of putting it, most might say feint fuzzies! But you should be able to see Orion reasonably well from your location and possibly Andromeda ( M31) as well if the seeing is reasonable. With the naked eye it can be difficult depending on the LP or surrounding lights but using binoculars or a scope will open things up a lot better. Many people here including myself observe from towns or the edge of towns. If you cannot get to a darker sky then the least you can try is to observe somewhere away from lights so your eyes get dark adapted.

This fills me with hope. I might be heading out to somewhere dark tonight (Based off http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=radar;sess= it might well be a decent night. That is if the wind isn't going east lol)

I'll reort back If i so.

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Time was I could see M42 fairly easily from where I was in London. Now, even though I've moved out a fair bit the LP is much worse and its a bit maybe. Using "averted imagination" on the most transparent nights. M31 is just as iffy, perhaps more so.

Tonight, from Ruislip way, M42 is easy in my bins, so is the core of M31. The outer regions are imaging only for me.

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Yes and Yes.

Orion is easy to see, but it is not big, the "big" outer bits are also very dim.

Andromeda is too big to get in your scope, all you "see" is the central core and agian the outer bits are dim.

Andromeda is best in binoculars, that way it all fits in, but it is not going to amaze you.

More like - Is that it?

Car, A386 to the golf club below Yelverton, turn left in there and go in a bit, big flat area on the right park up and go observing from there with binoculars. Amdromeda will be easy, watch out for horses and sheep. Used to live along the road there for a while.

I got amazed finding Andromeda thru binoculars, gotta keep expectations in check I suppose. 

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The biggest problem with Andromeda is that it is too big to fit in just about every "normal" telescope.

Scopes tend to be around the 1000mm focal length, often 1200mm, but with a 1000mm FL and say a 30mm 50 degree plossl (easy numbers) you get a magnification of 33x and a field of view of 1.5 degree, Andromeda is 3 degrees. So you just see one bit of it. 1.5 degrees is about right to get all of Orion in comfortably. In a 1200mm scope the view is less and the object dimmer.

However the push seems always to be "more magnification", that means less of either in the actual field of view and what is in will be dimmer. Both somewhat detrimental. Binoculars are best on Andromeda. I think that the "rules" of daytime viewing take over where there is enough light to magnify many times over. Unfortunately in astronomical terms it is different.

By the way pipnina if you go to where I said and it is clear be careful, the milky way will hold your attention and standing staring looking up can be hazardous. If it is clear willing to bet that finding Casseiopia is difficult,

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Whatever that last coment meant, i have no idea... The milky way will hold attention, but Casseiopia will be difficult, but looking up cam be hazardous and... Huh?!?

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Its the falling over backwards that I find hazardous. ;)

To the OP, you will note a huge difference from a truly dark site. All of the above mentioned and so much more will become visible naked eye. Making mental constellation or asterism spotting very easy and helping you to learn your way around the sky.

I'm lucky, at the moment when it goes dark Orion is right outside my front door, sword and nebular clearly visible as to location, and Pleiades up and right a little, with Andromeda and Casseopeia over the field to the west.

Best of luck with your session.

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The constellation of Orion should be easy to locate, as for its Nebula, a little harder, due to your light pollution, yet I  feel no harder to see than M31 Andromeda, is for me.  I cant see M31 with naked eyes from my observatory,  down to  light pollution, but its visible with binoculars and better still with the telescope. 

With the telescope, its still not much more than a smudge, so what's all the fuss about? I then took the telescope to what appeared to be a darker sight, and now I could see M31 better using the supplied SW25mm, but I found that I couldn't see the whole of the Galaxy! so I  invested in the  larger 32mm EP from Skywatcher, the Panaview. I now see so much more than just a little  smudge, but always better on  a clear moonless night and from a dark(er) location. I even find that by shielding my eyes from the lights helps a little, achieved by using my 'utility-tent' as a hide.

If you can see the street  lights, city glow, then there is too much pollution. If you don't see any lights, then your eyes will truly adapt to the darkness, and you should see more through some optics be that a telescope or Binoculars, or even just naked eyes. I have a patch nearby, where on a decent nights, the Milky way even casts a shadow? yet I still see the sky-glow from neighbouring towns, this to me is still pollution and will affect my eyes. I have a sight planned, in open wilderness, that is still accessible by car ( so other cars may pass through) but this sight is remote, and on my Google Earth, I believe I'm over 10-15  miles from any visible sky-glow from the towns and cities, but no direct vision to any single light point, except the points of light above. I know its great there with the naked eyes, as I have spent many occasions fishing there in the past, and passing through on my  travels in the car. Its one of the quietest roads I know around here for traffic,  yet remote  enough to cause a headache if something  goes wrong,  as not even the mobile phones work there!

If you have the ability ( despite the organisation, planning and the weather to contend with ) you will always benefit from a darker sky/site, and from the darker sky / un-polluted sight, you will find M31 if you know where to look?

Edited by Charic

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I live in Reading, and with my 5" scope the Andromeda Galaxy is this small, fuzzy blob. Take it somewhere dark - like 25 miles out of town into the sticks - wait an hour in the dark, and then it'll fill the widest field eyepiece I have from side to side!

For some objects, you can overcome light pollution to a degree with filters. I have had some pretty good views of the Orion Nebula with a UHC filter on particularly clear nights. However, it'll still be better somewhere dark, and things like galaxies can't really be improved by filters. 

My rule of thumb is that if I can see the Milky Way close to the horizon it's a good sky. The Andomeda Galaxy - or the core of it, anyway - is visible naked eye. Other good ones to look for are the Double Cluster in Perseus, and M44. I've yet to see M42 naked eye.

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Everything in the night sky will show up better under darker skies. The only exception is the Moon, but i bet that even looks better under darker skies. We cant all get to darker skies and there are ways of improving the views. Light pollution filters are a help.

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Whatever that last coment meant, i have no idea... The milky way will hold attention, but Casseiopia will be difficult, but looking up cam be hazardous and... Huh?!?

Went out when at then place mentioned one dark night, couldn't see the cattle grid that kept the sheep out, couldn't see the damn sheep on the road either (literally scared 2 of them - the road is warmer and they sleep on it), crossed the road, then looked up.

Stood mesmerised.

Actually as I had no scope or binoculars I wonder what I was doing out.

Literally falling over backwards was an option as was cricking my neck. You start out looking at the horizon, follow the MW up to the Zenith, then oddly keep going - bad habit of not turning round.

It's warmer and drier in Sydney, you can lie on the ground. KIngs Canyon, on the way back from Uluru, is good for a dark sky.

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Went out when at then place mentioned one dark night, couldn't see the cattle grid that kept the sheep out, couldn't see the damn sheep on the road either (literally scared 2 of them - the road is warmer and they sleep on it), crossed the road, then looked up.

Stood mesmerised.

Actually as I had no scope or binoculars I wonder what I was doing out.

Literally falling over backwards was an option as was cricking my neck. You start out looking at the horizon, follow the MW up to the Zenith, then oddly keep going - bad habit of not turning round.

It's warmer and drier in Sydney, you can lie on the ground. KIngs Canyon, on the way back from Uluru, is good for a dark sky.

Ahhhh, haha... Now THAT makes absolute sense! Funny mental image as well.

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The orion nebula last week from a darker site in my 4 inch telescope looked more impressive than what it does in the 10 inch in the city. The brightest parts just get brighter and the expansive nature of the extremities becomes huge.  Just make sure your sat down when you look ! 

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Joves: That was 25 years ago, I rented a flat in a converted house. There just were no lights around, Yelverton had a few but a couple of miles away and in a bit of a dip, honestly not sure they were electric - so dim they could have been Victorian gas. Plymouth was fairly well hidden by the southern edge of Dartmoor.

Worst thing was those sheep, kept walking into them. Occasionally they found a way into the gardens of the house and ate everything they could. No one ever drove fast along the road, a sleeping sheep appearing out the dark was common - who needs speed bumps.

Not been up that area for a long time, friends a bit more West and I tend to go use the A386. visit them then pick up the A30 and head back to central UK. I suppose they could have added lights everywhere for all I know.

However it was at that time a very good place to go observing, flat, open, dark, easy access.

Standing there staring up in the dark and your balance goes a bit, you need some reference to define "vertical" and that was missing there.

Edited by ronin

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The orion nebula last week from a darker site in my 4 inch telescope looked more impressive than what it does in the 10 inch in the city. The brightest parts just get brighter and the expansive nature of the extremities becomes huge. Just make sure your sat down when you look !

.......so often the case, that a smaller scope can outperform the larger, given the correct viewing conditions!

Not sure who's scope I end up with when I reach my destination? but the difference is obvious, and when I arrive back home, it still looks like the 8" I left with.

Edited by Charic

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M42 is often taken for granted, as it's one of the objects that can be seen reasonably well from many locations.   Dark skies do make one hall of a difference though.  I took my 12" Dob out to my Astro Soc's dark(ish) sky site, and was blown away with the amount of extra detail and expanse of nebulosity I could see.  This only improved with OIII and UHC filtration.  Amazing!

I'd say there isn't an object in the sky that doesn't gain from having dark skies to observe it under....

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