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Can't find M1


that>one<stargazer
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If the sky was anything like here last night, it may be that M1 wasn't showing through the thin clouds up there... I did find it once in my 80mm refractor, but it was very small and very very faint, and I spent a long time trying to locate it.

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It is a surprisingly dim target. It took me a long time before I could see it. Unbeknown to me, I was finding it but not seeing it. In fact it was only when I got a goto scope and I knew it was in the field of view that I was able to spot it. Once you get atuned to how dim these targets are you start to get much better at spotting them. The trick is to use averted vision - try looking to the outside of your FOV. Also move the telescope by a small amount or give it a tap, this can help the faint smudge show up better.

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Hi,

Your scope is more than capable of showing this. You need to pick a clear moonless night to look. The effect the Moon can have on trying to find this is surprising. For instance, on a moonless night I can see this from the suburbs with a 4 inch telescope. With a gibbous Moon in the sky, I can't see it with a 14 inch telescope! Also, I find that light pollution filters dont work very well on this object. They just make the nebula fainter.

M1 is quite faint and rather indistinct in shape so can be tricky to pick out at first, but once you've spotted it, you'll find it quick enought next time.

Graham

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Good advice Martin. It is a dim target owing to its very low surface brightness. For best results try to match what you are seeing through your eyepiece with the star patterns you see in Stellarium or similar star map program, so you can be confident that you are in the right location. Get yours eyes well dark adapted - drape a hood or coat over your head and the eyepiece to block out any local lights too.

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