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Nebula hunting advice?


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an orion XT4.5, don't have a filter yet, that is coming though.

I'd reccommend a Baader UHC-S with that scope - they work well with smaller aperture scopes. I found a lot of nebulae for the 1st time with a UHC-S and a 4" scope - including the Veil Nebula :)

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Locate the constellation of Taurus and Aldeberan in particular follow along to the left until you reach the next bright star. Using a low power eye piece locate this star in the FOV and then move the scope very slightly upwards you should see a grey fuzzy patch, this is M1.

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Go VERY slowly too - if I still can't find something, I go back to the reference star and try again.

Sometimes it can take ages to find an object. Once it took me a week's worth of night observing to find M11 (I don't know why, because it can be found with a good finderscope :)), and oh boy, wasn't I chuffed when I found it! :mad:

Edited by Beulah
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I just enjoy the challenge of hunting nebula. are there any filters that make nebula stand out more in color rather than a grayish haze?

Not really - even with large scopes there are very few nebulae that show colour.

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You can try a few easier ones 1st. M42/43 shows well even on binos.

M57 is small but quite nice, M27 is good too. M1 is not much harder but the lack of naked eye stars may make it tricky to locate. On the summer you got a few good ones in Sagittarius.

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What are 42 and 43? Is 43 the pleadies? If so it's one of my favorites to look at. I don't quite know what everything in the m catolougue is just yet. I've seen andromeda, and the bigger nebula in orions sword.

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What are 42 and 43? Is 43 the pleadies? If so it's one of my favorites to look at. I don't quite know what everything in the m catolougue is just yet. I've seen andromeda, and the bigger nebula in orions sword.

That's normal, I seen all of them and only know a few by heart.:)

If you want an extensive list of nebula use this:

The Prairie Astronomer

It's actually a comparison test for different nebula filters but you can use it as a list with the added advantage of knowing what filters enhance any particular nebula.

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M43 is a small round nebula around a star. If you look to the big one (M42) it looks like bat wings and above it there is a star with a round nebula, as you can see in the sketch below.

img2010011401_M42lg.jpg

Edited by pvaz
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Sorry to have to say guys, I got that frustrated with trying to find things and not knowing if my set up or skies would even allow me the views I have gone GOTO. At least this way I actually get to observe and don't get a sore neck. The plan is star align the life out of the mount and then if I don't see what I'm looking for I know the light pollution has washed it from my view and I can move onto the the next in the list. I think the other benefits are that when I take my dob to dark skies at least I'll have a better idea of where I need to look... again allowing me to actually observe and not waste precious clear skies on searching 30mins for one thing.

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Hello from northwales on a good night the faintest star down to 14mag orion if you use averted vision without bino's or a telescope see the glow from m42 its the same with m32 good dark skies hope that helps m8:headbang:

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Hello from northwales on a good night the faintest star down to 14mag orion if you use averted vision without bino's or a telescope see the glow from m42 its the same with m32 good dark skies hope that helps m8:headbang:

Brian are you saying without the aid of bins or a telescope you can see mag 14 stars naked eye.

If so those skies must be out of this world.

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By the way I've officially seen the both Orion nebulae, now my question is through my measly 4.5 inch for m1 would it look like just a feint hard to see star?

No from a dark site your scope should see a patch of light, you might make out an outline, but you won't see any detail. But it shouldn't look like a star as it's alot larger then a star.

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M42 is a large object and very distinctive, even in small scopes. Unless you have loads of light pollution or moonlight in the sky, it will be quite clear that you are seeing it. Use your lowest power eyepiece on this object.

M1 however is much more compact and fainter - easy to overlook and challenging under anything other than dark skies, even with a moderate aperture scope. An UHC or O-III filter makes it more distinct.

Edited by John
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