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what alters seeing so much? am i looking at nebula?


lostinspace
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wow! popped out earlier with the binos for a quick gander and it was so clear i just had to get the scope set up. just south of orions belt there is (with the naked eye) 3 nearly vertical stars, with the binos its just gorgeous. just checked it out again with my scope and its stunning. i`m sure there is colour there. i`m not sure what i`m focusing on and weather it`s the seeing or not, could anyone shed some light on what i might be looking at? could it be my first nebula? i am new to this and am discovering the night sky for myself, slowly, but loving it this way. thanks all, hope your all enjoying the lovely clear nights we`re having,

john

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M42? Are you looking at Orions "sword", hanging from his belt? At the lower end is M42. If you can magnify this you will find the Trapezium, 4 stars in a trapiziodal layout and if you really nail it you will see Trap E & F. I've seen Trap E so far.

It is very rewarding finding your way around the stars. Whilst goto might give an instant fix, hunting stuff down, or just "discovering" things, has to be the best.

Get a Messier list and start finding them, take some notes of where and when you first spotted them. Do some sketching too, as this really hepls you to "see" what you are looking at.

Clear skies, my friend, clear skies.

Edited by yeti monster
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What colour can you see in the nebula?

hi criss, it changes, i`m sure i saw a huge of red? could anything else be affecting this. i`m aware of how difficult it is to see colour which is why i`m suspicous, especially as i have a very basic scope,

john

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M is for the catalogue which was named after there finder a comet hunter Charles Messier? i think that is how you spell the name.

But to answer your question no. M objects are the brighter objects in the sky and are nebula glaxies and clusters

gratz on your first Messier object

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Sounds like M42. Does it look a bit like a pair of wings? I've never seen it that clearly with binos. Here is all cloudy.

Try Pleiades next. Go to the top of Orion, follow a line between them on to the right, you will pass a cluster of stars called Hyades, which make up part of Taurus, carry on about the same distance, and you will see Pleiades. In dark spots on a clear night, you can make out 6 of the stars in Pleiades (also called 'The Seven Sisters', or the less appealing M45) with the naked eye, but also in towns on a good night you should make it out as a fuzzy patch.

M.

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More then likely (99.999% sure) it was M42 (the Orion Nebula). I reckon even with 8x25 bins it is visible (its visible with naked eye). In a 6" scope it will be VERY visible. You may even detect a hint of colour. I have detected a hint of red with a 3.5" scope.

So YES i think you have bagged your 1st nebula.

What alters seeing so much?........................ATMOSPHERIC conditions.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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If you are seeing colours around your stars, you may have an issue with the quality of your eyepieces, particularly in an f/5 scope. You may get a little bit of colour fringe around bright objects. Make sure your stars are focused as tight and bright as can be.

M42, the Orion Nebula is quite large, as things go, and generally looks blue. The trapezium should be quite obvious at 100x or higher. In my 6" Newt I can see colour differences in the trapezium stars. The nebula has a fat "U" shape. If you go south from the nebula, you will see a group of stars that looks like a stick figure of a man running. Oddly, it is called "The Running Man" and is great for showing your friends. If you put the rightmost star of Orion's belt in your scope, and wait 15 minutes, M76 will drift into your FOV. If you go from Orion's head to the right and a little up, you will encounter the Pleiades, a tight cluster about the size of the Full Moon, and absolutely gorgeous, best seen at about 30x. Halfway from Orion to the Pleiades is the bright star Aldebaran, which stands in front of the loose cluster, the Hyades.

Have fun!

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Sorry, but if I look south at M42, the Running Man is above it. I don't understand how that makes it south of M42? Also, I think you mean M78, not M76? M76 (the dumbell) is further away than Pleaides, and precedes it.

M.

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Yup, sounds like you found your first nebula :)

I have been doing this for a couple of years now, mostly with a camera on the telescope, but the other night, while waiting for Mars to get higher, I decided to take a visual look at M42. With a 32mm eyepiece it was breathtaking.I called the Mrs out to have a look and even she was stunned (no mean feat!) Can't really believe I hadn't bothered visually with it before.

As for the colours, we had a very careful look for them. I could see a reddish ribbon just to the left of the trapezium, but my 12yr old son with his young eyes could see reds and blues.

Your post is a great reminded of the joy of finding out that it isnt just a load of white blobs up there, and that in fact, the sky is full of amazing objects. Just wait till you see M13, the great cluster in Hercules!

Cheers

TJ

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thanks for all your replies, there seems to be some confusion as to what i was looking at? not to worry though as it makes it no less beautifull in my scope :) hope you`ve all been able to enjoy the run of clear nights weve been having,

john

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Sorry, but if I look south at M42, the Running Man is above it. I don't understand how that makes it south of M42? Also, I think you mean M78, not M76? M76 (the dumbell) is further away than Pleaides, and precedes it.

M.

OH, you're right! I am such an idiot.

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