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Langworthy

North American Nebula

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What sort of kit and viewing conditions are required to see the N. American Nebula? With my 200P Sky Watcher Explorer Newtonian, I tried very hard tonight but no joy.

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With your kit, the lowest power eyepiece possible! The NAN is better viewed through binoculars because it's such a large object.

ChrisH

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As above - you will probably find 15x70 binoculars under dark skies a better bet for that target.

My 4" F/6.5 refractor shows nearly 2x as much sky as your 8" dob can but even thats not enough to get fit the whole of the N A Nebula in.

A UHC filter helps enhance the contrast with most nebulae including the North American.

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Hi Jem, the NA neb is a favorite of mine, it's size never ceases to amaze! :smiley:

Under dark, transparent skies it shows very well and will do so in your scope. But this object seems to be one that is very sensitive to conditions and can easily hide itself... I find it more sensitive than the Veil in this regard, another favorite.

A UHC or OIII is a must IMHO and I lean toward the OIII personally. A few weak attempts to view it filterless has been made but the OIII will really bring it alive in dark skies and a 20mm-30mm EP should work well in your scope for this purpose. A widefield is nice to help avoid "looking through" the nebula- good in your pursuit!

Edited by jetstream
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As above, low power, wide field & a filter.

The Gulf of Mexico is pretty well defined. Pick that out and go from there.

Paul

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Seeing conditions aren't particularly important as its a low power object, but a dark and transparent sky is what you need. Any high level haze and it won't be visible. I tried on two successive clear nights from a dark site recently and on one of them it just wasn't visible, the second it was amazing.

I definitely agree with Gerry that a filter is essential to get the best out of it, and the OIII tends to work better.

This view shows how big it is. The outer ring is 3.44 degrees and is what I get with a 31mm nagler in a refractor. The inner ring is your scope with a 32mm Plossl. Of course you could get a wider field of view by using a long focal length 2" eyepiece, just not quite as wide as the frac due to the longer focal length scope you have.

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It's a lovely object, well worth getting to a dark site to see.

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I have only seen the NA nebula through binoculars and with the 80mm F/6 with 31mm Nagler or 42mm LVW, preferably with UHC filter. The views can be stunning, but I missed it for years because I never fully realized how big it was. Funnily enough, it is the dark "Gulf of Mexico"that stands out most. That initially alerted me to the presence of a lighter object there

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It's a tricky customer, but once seen, it's yours for keeps! I never could find it until I got the O-III filter. I would add that you have to get your bearing because of its size, as it's so easy to look right through it and not know. I use the 'Little Orion' as a buoy off the coast of Florida and then look for the curl of stars near Maine. However, at a dark site, it will be really obvious where it is!

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I shall persevere. Thanks everyone.

Good stuff Langworthy.

I think we all forgot good dark adaptation! Don't under estimate its importance. Don't use a smartphone or other bright light and give yourself a good half hour to get properly adjusted. It makes a real difference.

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Good stuff Langworthy.

I think we all forgot good dark adaptation! Don't under estimate its importance. Don't use a smartphone or other bright light and give yourself a good half hour to get properly adjusted. It makes a real difference.

I agree with Stu - when you are searching for faint / extended deep sky objects and have become dark adapted, even the glow from an illuminated watch face can interfere !

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What sort of kit and viewing conditions are required to see the N. American Nebula?  

All you need is an O-III filter and a dark sky site.

No scope or bins are needed, this object is enormous, it can be seen with your naked eye from dark skies.

I have viewed the NA neb in everything up to a 20" Dob, but naked eye is the best most satisfying view of all. Sit down nice and relaxed in a reclining chair and hold the O-III filter up to your eye and...........Happy days :)

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It's a good check of transparency. Large, but there are larger nebulae out there. See if you can eek out ic5068 or sharpless 119 nearby

Good luck

Peter

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 I have seen this at Kielder Forest a few years back with a pair of Canon IS bino's the view was amazing when the image stabilisation was switched on. As other have said it is a large widefield object best seen with the naked eye or bino's

Regards

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I had a squizz at the NAN last night.

I got my best view ever with some pretty suprising kit. Due to the perceived faintness of this target, my assumption was "inches rule". My previous best views were with my 10" Dob.

New Best View : ED80(mm) with ES 24mm 82° and a 2" Lumicon OIII.

Why?

3.3° FOV. I could see the subtle contrasts against the black of deep space/dust. It was surprisingly bright!! Not a description that I expected to use with regard to this target. The nebulosity showed in lumpy detail far beyond the brighter (contrasty) Gulf of Mexico region.

Looking forward to a revisit.

Paul

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I had a squizz at the NAN last night.

I got my best view ever with some pretty suprising kit. Due to the perceived faintness of this target, my assumption was "inches rule". My previous best views were with my 10" Dob.

New Best View : ED80(mm) with ES 24mm 82° and a 2" Lumicon OIII.

Why?

3.3° FOV. I could see the subtle contrasts against the black of deep space/dust. It was surprisingly bright!! Not a description that I expected to use with regard to this target. The nebulosity showed in lumpy detail far beyond the brighter (contrasty) Gulf of Mexico region.

Looking forward to a revisit.

Paul

Wide field scope with OIII is definitely my preferred way of viewing it Paul so I'm not surprised at all by your results. Assuming you have a dark and transparent sky, the views are fab

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Wide field scope with OIII is definitely my preferred way of viewing it Paul so I'm not surprised at all by your results. Assuming you have a dark and transparent sky, the views are fab

Think that I might need a bigger car. I can't leave my dob, chair, eyepiece case(s), Jaffa cakes at home in place of the ST80.

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Good result Paul :smiley:

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Think that I might need a bigger car. I can't leave my dob, chair, eyepiece case(s), Jaffa cakes at home in place of the ST80. [emoji4]

Roof box? You can fit things like children in there if necessary to create space for important stuff in the car :p

Truss dob?

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Lovely spot, Paul, well done. Thats really playing to the ED80's strengths on the NAN. I've had some cracking visits to it this summer and that includes in the back garden LP as well. The O-III makes it all possible.

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I agree with all said above.

UHC or OIII plus dark sky.

I could see it with my 60mm with a 4mm exit pupil eyepiece and those filters. Impressive view, particularly around the Mexico gulf.

Lovely target! I still prefer the rosette nebula, possibly because of the satellite Cluster inside, but the north America is surely a strong competitor!

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The NAN is an easy target even with small telescopes like Piero's 60mm. I viewed the nebula this summer with a 60mm f5.5 refractor and my Nagler 31mm. Piece of cake and visible to some extend even without filters.

The key is to have both a large enough exit pupil and a large enough FOV ...

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I've seen this with the naked eye before several times.  Sky must be very, very dark with very little LP and your eyes dark adapted for 30 minutes at least.  i've seen it from rural Derbyshire and Lincolnshire before in such a fashion.  Also from overseas in Tenerife a few weeks ago.

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Yup, binoculars or naked eye for me. I've never seen it in a telescope. I have poor eyesight, too, but I can do it naked eye. While I can see the Pelican in binoculars I cannot by any means see anything Pelican-like about it visually. It is a bit of a beggar this one, given that it is incredibly easy to photograph!

Disgruntled of SE France!

(Olly)

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School Report

Name: Olly Penrice

Subject: North America Nebula studies, telescopic observations.

Grade: D-

Comment: Must try harder!! ;)

Olly, surely your Pronto with a OIII and a nice long focal length eyepiece would do the job under your lovely skies??

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