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Rick King

Should I be able to see things like the Crab Nebula with my Celestron 8SE?

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I’m having trouble finding nebulas with my scope. I found Orion’s nebula but can’t seem to find any others. I took a pic of it and the gasses showed up and I was hooked after seeing that. Anyone have any pointers on what they should look like thru my lenses?

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Hi Rick,

Your scope will show the Crab Nebula (Messier 1) but it's quite a lot fainter and smaller than M42 (Orion Nebula) so it will look like an indistinct fuzzy oval. If there is any light pollution around or moonlight then it will be very difficult to see. Low power will do fine - 50x or so. A UHC filter can make it (and other nebulae) stand out a little more as well darker skies but M1 is never a spectacular object untill your scopes aperture gets up to 15 inches or so.

M42 is much, much more spectacular !

Others worth looking out for would include the planetary nebulae M57 (The Ring) in Lyra and M27 (The Dumbbell) in Vulpecula and there are plenty more where those came from !. M42 is pretty unique though.

 

 

 

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At first I found it difficult to recognise stuff, because I didn't know how they should look and perhaps wasn't prepared for the underwhelming reality!

You might find that this website, once you have entered your scope and eyepiece details, will help you picture the size of various objects in your eyepieces.

www.astronomy.tools    (use the FOV section)

How  bright or distinct a particular nebula appears will vary remarkably depending on the night, prevailing conditions, light pollution, humidity levels and so on.

It also helps when observing to be in a completely dark environment.

Good luck!

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Heres a couple of pics which might help. The 1st is a location map of the Crab Nebula. The 2nd is a rough impression, though an adjusted image, of how the nebula can appear at, say, around 70x magnification in an 8" scope under an average sky. Not too impressive is it ?

 

taurus.jpg

1359-1481745647.jpg

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1 hour ago, Rick King said:

I’m having trouble finding nebulas with my scope. I found Orion’s nebula but can’t seem to find any others. I took a pic of it and the gasses showed up and I was hooked after seeing that. Anyone have any pointers on what they should look like thru my lenses?

You can see the Crab through your 8SE on even a moderate 'seeing' night, but visually it will never be more than a smudge against the blackness. Same as with other DSO's like M31 or M13 or M2. It takes a camera, that can collect the photons, to bring out the image that our eyes cannot see the full extent of. These pictures below were all made with an Edge HD 800, basically the same telescope as your 8SE. These are all around 30 seconds' worth each of collected photons (single images), to see them well enough to discern their shape and some detail. The Crab (M1) is dimmer than many and takes a bit of work to bring any color out of it, along with a much longer than 30 second exposure. Just be happy knowing you're looking back in time when you visualize any of them, however poorly. Lots of things will affect how well you can visualize them, as stated before. Light pollution, clarity of the sky, etc. 

1-M1, Crab Nebula

2-M31 Andromeda Galaxy

3-M2 Cluster in Aquarius

4-M57 Ring Nebula

M1 Crab Nebula.JPG

M31 Andromeda Galaxy.JPG

M2 cluster in Aquarius.jpg

M57 Ring Nebula.jpg

Edited by Luna-tic
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Telescope is just like a time machine, it helps you to look back into time! How amazing it is! When I am looking a globular cluster first time thru my levenhuk telescope last year(traded in with a SW telescope), I feel so excited until the next day! :)

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I should add, your go-to alignment needs to be fairly precise when searching for some of these DSO's. Some are faint enough visually that you will barely see them, and unless they are in the FOV when you tell the go-to to skew to it, you may not find it. Your FOV is pretty narrow at f/10, use a low-power EP when searching (I use a 25mm Plossl a lot), or something with a wide FOV. On occasion, I couldn't see the object at all, but when I took a quick 15-20 second exposure, it was actually there.

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All good advice above, and the answer is Yes, you can.  I can see a wide range of objects with my 8SE - planets, clusters, and doubles are amongst the easier ones, but nebulae and galaxies are also well within reach. 

I would add that planetary nebs are more manageable than many others, and I have least success with those larger, diffuse ones because my sky is not very dark.

As others have said, you must ensure the GoTo is set up carefully to be looking in the right region - or hopefully bang on target even if you don't see it at first.  And although these elusive objects might not be much to look at, it is nevertheless exciting when you do locate them and consider what they actually are!

Doug.

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Going to say a it borderline. I sent a 6" SCT scope to M1 some years ago and there started the arguement.

I was 60% sure that there was a faint something in view, the other person said I was imagining it all. Agreed your scope is bigger but I suspect you could be in a similar position.

On all the faint ones (which can be the majority) getting them in view and actuall "seeing" them does not always correlate. Finding M31 by eye is another people cannot see it until it is pointed out and they have done it a couple of times.

In yours I guess the first thing is keep the magnification down, a reasonable 32mm or 40mm plossl eyepiece. TV or Vixen comes to mind. The next is get to M1 via a close by star. Maybe Aldebaren centered then a short hop to M1. Use the PAE or Sync feature. Reason for this is simple the scope may have a view of say 1 degree but that is actually +/- 0.5. If M1 were 0.7 degrees off of center then it is not in view.

Have fun, if you really want to "not see it" then take a 6 year old with you, their eyes work better. Gets annoying when oine announces "That looks great!" and you are wondering what they are talking about.

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I spent years (literally) failing to find M1, then on a trip to a dark site found it in 15x50 binoculars. It's all about the sky not the scope. Dark enough skies and you will see it with no problem, too much LP and you won't. I don't generally see it from my back garden as it is too bright unfortunately.

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2 minutes ago, Stu said:

I spent years (literally) failing to find M1, then on a trip to a dark site found it in 15x50 binoculars. It's all about the sky not the scope. Dark enough skies and you will see it with no problem, too much LP and you won't. I don't generally see it from my back garden as it is too bright unfortunately.

Funny old hobby this, Stu - I saw M1 first time I tried!  (Not much to look at from where I am mind.)

The thing I took well over two years to nail is Jupiter's GRS.

Doug.

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1 minute ago, cloudsweeper said:

Funny old hobby this, Stu - I saw M1 first time I tried!  (Not much to look at from where I am mind.)

The thing I took well over two years to nail is Jupiter's GRS.

Doug.

Thanks Doug, that makes me feel so much better.... ;):) 

My wilderness years were before I had joined SGL and did not know very much! Finding stuff with an EQ mounted Newt was fun :), but it was definitely the fact that I was trying from skies which were not good enough which stopped me seeing it for so long.

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38 minutes ago, Stu said:

Thanks Doug, that makes me feel so much better.... ;):) 

My wilderness years were before I had joined SGL and did not know very much! Finding stuff with an EQ mounted Newt was fun :), but it was definitely the fact that I was trying from skies which were not good enough which stopped me seeing it for so long.

I began with an Eq-mounted Newt, and saw - well, virtually nothing.  Then got an alt-az frac, and took off!  :hello2:

Re skies - maybe the LP up here in my corner of Merseyside ain't so bad after all.  Think I'll go for a bunch of galaxies next time out!

Doug.

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1 hour ago, Stu said:

I spent years (literally) failing to find M1, then on a trip to a dark site found it in 15x50 binoculars. It's all about the sky not the scope. Dark enough skies and you will see it with no problem, too much LP and you won't. I don't generally see it from my back garden as it is too bright unfortunately.

That's it!

I had very much difficulty in my light-polluted,  backyard (arorund mag 4.7), couldn't see M1 with 130P, just made it with C8, but in my dark sites, a pair of 10x50 binoculars did it.

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No one's going to recommend Turn Left at Orion? I'm shocked! :D It's helped me a number of times when under average skies to know I was looking at the right patch, only to realize I just wasn't able to see what I thought I should be able to see.

M1 isn't really that impressive except under the darkest of skies. As others have said, it's just going to be an extremely faint smudge. You can't really compare it to other nebula like M42 and M57. In fact, a lot of nebula are just going to be faint smudges except under some of the best conditions and with extremely large scopes.

M42 and M57 are some of the brightest nebulas. I finally saw M42 for myself for the first time a few weeks ago and no other nebula holds a candle to it in terms of brightness. (My profile pic is of M42 through my eyepiece using just my cell phone camera and a 0.6s exposure.) M57 is another of my favorites. Under average skies you can make out the circular shape if you know what to look for. Under dark skies you can start to see more of the structure and the difference between the outer shell and inner core.

Point is, it's not just about whether or not an individual scope can see something. It's also about what your seeing conditions and light pollution will permit. You should be able to see these things with an 8" scope, but you'll be much more limited by conditions than you would with something like a 12", for example. Find yourself some dark skies on an extremely crisp and clear night, and I think you'll be surprised just how much your 8" scope can show you.

Highly recommend anyone and everyone have a copy of Turn Left at Orion. It really helps a lot more than you know.

Edited by Buzzard75
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The ring nebula I found to be one of the most astounding things in the sky - it just seems too artificial and neatly shaped to be real

Edited by JOC
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4 hours ago, Stu said:

I spent years (literally) failing to find M1, 

You and me both mate. It was my bogey object for the first few years of observing as I searched in vain with my little 4.5" Tasco newt. :D 

The thing is, it's position looks easy to locate so I just couldn't work out why I couldn't see it. Round and around it I went on too many occasions to remember without seeing a darn thing..... 
When I finally located it's faint glow, it really was an OMG "Is that it!!?" :( :angryfire: :BangHead: Moment. 

Needless to say, I ignored it for years, that was until SWSP two years ago when I happened to observe it in Cal's 18" scope. This time it was OMG "is that it!!!? :eek: :wub::thumbright: moment.

Have fun out there :) 

 

 

 

 

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Yes, "Turn left on Orion" seems to be a very popular book. but I don't have the pleasure to read it before and after these years observations. I was quite attached to the simple planisphere I had in youth, just used it to guide me around the sky. You can easily download and print it out to make your own. With zero cost and get a basic intro as how the constellations get around. In most light polluted area, it's good enough to find your way around, IMHO:smiley:

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I was able to see it for the first time at the Grand Canyon with a little 4.5" dob. Impossible to see at my light polluted skies, but at the dark sky it was...well...not very impressive. It was half there, half not, I was able to see it until some nighttime hiker shined his flashlight (torch in the UK) every which direction!!! :angry5:

In an 8" at a dark sky you should see it no prob, but don't expect to be amazed.

Hopefully sometime in the future I will invest in an 8" dob to try and get back into observing, imaging has taken me over. :) 

Edited by Galen Gilmore

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I too struggled to find it, but did so with a 8 inch sct in moderate skies after reading a description of it being like a thumbprint.  What also helped was reading of the technique of tapping the scope when looking for something faint.  Our brains are excellent at detecting movement, even of a very faint patch of distant light! So tapping the scope makes the object move slightly and your brain detects the difference.  And averted vision, looking off centre and then back can help too.

Helen

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faint objects can be difficult to locate, and see directly. To help you
along a little, if you suspect you have hit your dim target, you could
try averted vision, that is looking to one side of the suspect, and use your peripheral part of your eye.
It could help verify at least, that you have found found it.
Never be disheartened  or disappointed with some of the fainter sights, there are hundreds more to gladden your heart.
Double stars are a joy to observe, there are many of those in the sky, and their colours vary too.
Look first for Albireo in Cygnus, A most beautiful pair Gamma Andromeda is another nice double.
Your telescope is more than satisfactory, many would love such a starter telescope.
In time you might become afflicted with the plague known as 'Aperture Fever'.
No it isn't a physical ailment, simply a desire to own a bigger light grasper, 
a larger instrument. Use up the good times with what you have first though, much to learn with the 8" scope..
Best Wishes, and enjoy your journey through time.

 

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On 12/12/2017 at 18:38, John said:

Hi Rick,

Your scope will show the Crab Nebula (Messier 1) but it's quite a lot fainter and smaller than M42 (Orion Nebula) so it will look like an indistinct fuzzy oval. If there is any light pollution around or moonlight then it will be very difficult to see. Low power will do fine - 50x or so. A UHC filter can make it (and other nebulae) stand out a little more as well darker skies but M1 is never a spectacular object untill your scopes aperture gets up to 15 inches or so.

M42 is much, much more spectacular !

Others worth looking out for would include the planetary nebulae M57 (The Ring) in Lyra and M27 (The Dumbbell) in Vulpecula and there are plenty more where those came from !. M42 is pretty unique though.

 

 

 

 

9191FCFD-8E6D-4B15-9D72-88A0B840D917.jpeg

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This is the foto I took of the Orion neb. Good, bad, or wat? I’m using a Canon Rebel T6 to do my photography. I’ve found out my go-to scope doesn’t always go to the exact spot u want it to. 

Edited by Rick King

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46 minutes ago, Rick King said:

This is the foto I took of the Orion neb. Good, bad, or wat? I’m using a Canon Rebel T6 to do my photography. I’ve found out my go-to scope doesn’t always go to the exact spot u want it to. 

It's probably best that you make a new topic in the 'getting started with imaging section', you will get more views on it.

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