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Moonshane

M1 Crab Nebula and M78 - how difficult for you?

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Hi all

These two have been recent finds for me and although in some LP (in the sky and from bedroom windows) and therefore not too dark where I am, they have been really tricky even with my 12" dob. OK I see I have answered my own question already as I type this thread.....:)

M1 was a little easier to find than M78 but both were faint and only really viewed with averted vision.

I expect that going to a darker site would enhance these greatly as with many faint targets but I am hoping that everyone else that observes in 'average' conditions agrees these are relatively faint?

I'd appreciate some soothing tones of 'you're doing OK Shane' etc......:D

cheers

Shane

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I tried and completely failed to find M78 the other night from my back garden. It is "relatively" sheltered from the worst of the LP but the little nebula evaded me in my 8" dob.

M1 on the other hand is a comparatively easy target for me, it is very faint mind you. But it is easily discernible as a misty patch around a degree north of Zeta Tauri.

I would guess that the limiting magnitude is around 4.5-5 on most average nights, I swear that I have seen a star at around 5.4 at one time though. The milky way can just be made out as a faint band in the sky when at the zenith but no shape or detail is ever seen.

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cheers Tom

you have better skies than here I have no chance of the MW.

this makes me feel a little better.

I found the two stars within M78 made it stand out for me. they are M10 I think. if I got Alnitak on the bottom right of my 50mm finder and then scanned about with my 35mm EP it was just visible but better in the Ethos with a little more contrast.

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Shane, your doing ok!

I believe both of these are very faint and do take some seeing. I can only agree with your observations. I have never observed either using any filters ( I prefer to look at things as they are ) which no doubt would help. Personally I was prepared not to expect to much as I was aware, from what I had read, they were not in the same league as say something like M82.

Alan

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cheers Alan

I agree - nothing like as good as M82 (or M42 did you mean 42?) and very faint. Some books suggest they are a lot more obvious than I was seeing, hence my post to see what others thought. I am glad you both confirm they are difficult targets.

I suppose with things like this it's the challenge of finding them.

Edited by Moonshane

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I agree what makes M78 not that bad is the bright stars that are embedded within it. Find these then with averted vision you might see the little smudge.

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Shane, I did mean M82 amongst others. Ye for sure M42 comes into the same category. Of course you may feel I am not worthy to give an opinion on objects that Dob owners are trying to track down but I am able to use the same method with my 925. Release the clutches and off I go! I could'nt do that with my 6se.

Amazing what you can learn in a couple of years!

Alan

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I live on the edge of S. London and neither M78 nor M1 are what one would call bright in my 13.2 inch. Yet I can see both in my Zenithstar 66mm so I wonder if the wider aperture 'catches' more light pollution reducing contrast of these low surface brightness objects. It's the same with M51 the whirpool which is not much more than two round fuzzy patches in my newt despite being overhead and yet I have seen it through 15 X 70 binos from the same moderately light-polluted skies.

I suppose it's a sobering thought for all those with small to moderate-sized scopes that there are many objects which don't look much better with much larger ones.

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Shane, I did mean M82 amongst others. Ye for sure M42 comes into the same category. Of course you may feel I am not worthy to give an opinion on objects that Dob owners are trying to track down but I am able to use the same method with my 925. Release the clutches and off I go! I could'nt do that with my 6se.

Amazing what you can learn in a couple of years!

Alan

sorry - my bad re M82. not at all re 'worthiness' ;) - sorry if I seemed 'holier than though' - unintentional if I did :)

I am a definite newbie and at about the same sort of stage as you from the sounds of things. I'd love to look through an SCT one day. supposed to be excellent on planets?

cheers Mick - sounds like I am on the right track. :D

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(P.S. - I'm sure I can just see M78 through my 10 X 42 binos ! believe it or don't !)

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nice one Alan

I'll try it in my 15s next time out.

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Shane, your post is perfectly fine. It is I who may have given the wrong impression. Profound apologies. All I meant by my comment was the fact a go-to user having a say on a dob owners observations could be seen as "a bit of a cheek". Must admitt I keep looking at a smallish dob, something around 6"-8". Would be good to use in a really dark location, portable and good bang for your bucks, as they say.

Alan

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Try using a broad band or narrow band light pollution filter, Nebulas tend to stand out more in contrast, and the filters help to darken the sky background so the Nebulas really do stand out more.

I use a Skywatcher OIII filter esspeciallly for M1 for my viewing cos I can see the structure really well in my scope more.

However these light pollution filters aren't cheap but they do work.

However if you are interested I would recomend getting a broad band filter such as a skywatcher light pollution filter which only cost's around £19.90 from first light optics. This filter helps to darken the sky more and help more on contrast with nebulas and galaxies with alot less light restriction, particularly when you use a OIII filter which you can loose as much as 2 magintudes when using a scope, That's the reason why using a scope must be at least 8 inches to use this kind of filter.

However the light pollution filter from Skywatcher you only need a 115mm aperture telescope with this filter.

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no worries matey - I just wanted to avoid the bad feeling that I have occasionally been a party to in emails etc by the wrong end of the stick being grabbed by me / them. :)

I can 100% recommend dobs as a great way to set up quickly and get a great aperture for your money. for me a 8-10" would be the recommended size as this gives you real impact at the EP. 6" is OK but you'll soon want to move up I reckon.

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Shane,

pheww! Glad that's been sorted out!. Yes a small do looks a distinct possibility. Will be keeping a close eye on things in the next few weeks. I am waiting for a 13mm Nagler from santa (or as I know him, Debra, my girl!).:) Hope I can get hold of the dob myself.

Alan

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nice one Alan

a 13mm Nagler would be a fine addition to your already excellent collection!

I love my Ethos but I am sure the Nagler would be just as good and actually a bit more manageable. if I ever need to sell the Ethos (hope not!) then a Nagler would be what I replace it with.

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cool! make sure you do a quick review - would be good to see what you think.

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Hi Shane' i have seen them both through my 8'' newt.But M78 a little bit harder to find with out any LP from my back garden.Mark

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Congratulations, Shane. My first view of M1 was with an 8-inch from light-polluted garden - clearly visible but pretty faint and not much to look at. From a dark site with same aperture it was a lot easier. I never tried for M78 from my garden - with the 8-inch at a dark site it was easy.

A nebula filter (e.g. UHC) will make M1 a lot easier but will have no effect on M78, which is a reflection nebula (in fact it will just make it even fainter).

The comment by perrin6 about some objects being easier with small aperture is interesting; I would suggest the reason is the lower magnification. An object seen through a telescope always has highest surface brightness when seen at the lowest possible magnification. But the most detailed view is with the highest possible power. Deep-sky viewing is all about finding the right balance between diminshed surface brightness and magnified detail.

At a light-polluted site, the portion of the object bright enough to be visible at all against the sky may be extremely small (e.g. the small core of M31 or other galaxies). No amount of aperture will make the rest of the galaxy visible: it's swamped by the sky brightness. The best bet is the lowest possible power (e.g. binoculars), giving minimum loss of surface brightness.

At a dark site, the outer parts of galaxies are not swamped by sky brightness: M31 is visible to the naked eye. You can then sacrifice a lot of surface brightness through high magnification and still get a good view.

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M1 has always been a let down for me. I've just managed to see it from where I am with a light pollution filter. I looked through an 11" scope from a dark site and still wasn't impressed. I wasn't able to see M78 with my old 6", and haven't got around to trying with the 8" yet.

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For those having trouble finding M78, get Mintaka (the most western star in Orions belt) at the centre of your FOV then wait 15 minutes and the Earths rotation will place M78 in the eyepiece.

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I recently bagged M78 with my C8, in moderate light pollution. Could not see it in my 16x70mm finder (nor 15x70 binos), but the finder did allow me to star-hop to the right position. M78 was quite nice in the C8 using my Nagler 22mm, but it was not spectacular. It is one of the very few bright reflection nebulae, so an OIII filter will not work. I also paid my respects to the Crab nebula the same night, but that is not very spectacular either (LP filter does work much better there).

I do not doubt that going to a darker site would allow me to spot it in binos (and the finder). Maybe I could spot the companion nebulae NGC 2071, NGC 2064 and NGC 2067 with the C8 then.

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