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Thread: Orion nebula.... Where are you?

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    mrjaffa's Avatar
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    Default Orion nebula.... Where are you?



    I've finally got my scope back out after moving and am trying to find the Orion Nebula on this lovely clear evening..... But failing.....

    I'm just sat at the back doors which perfectly face south so can just swing them open and stay inside (still freezing tho).

    Whilst I can easily find the Orion constellation and understand the nebula is somewhere around the "sword", I am still struggling. Now it's obviously not pitch black outside, in fact the neighbours a hundred yards away have their kitchen lights on. So I understand I won't see this with the naked eye, but should I see it through my scope? It's only a baby scope, 70mm, but I figured I would still see it.

    So I was searching around the right area and hoping just to see a little fuzz. I did see some fuzz but at closer magnification it appeared just to be the light from a brighter star.

    So will I see it in these conditions?

    Well I still got a few hours of night to keep trying so look forward to any replies....

  2. #2
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    Default

    It is in the sword, there are 3 stars in a row in the sword, the Nebulae can be found if you focus on the middle one, unless I'm off. I don't know if you'll see it with your scope, someone will be around to answer that shortly, I'm sure.
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    Default

    It is in the middle of the "sword". There are 3 stars in the middle of the nebula called the Trapezium which form a tiny triangle which you can see with that scope, definitely. You may be able to see a fourth star under good conditions. Start with a 25mm or so EP.
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    Even in moderately light polluted skies, you should be able to make out the Orion Nebula. First, find Orion's belt. Next, find Betelgeuse as a frame of reference. Now, on the opposite side of Orion's belt you should see a very faint line of objects, similar to Orion's belt but a lot closer together. This line of stars will not be parallel to Orion's belt, but you should be able to draw a line from the middle star in Orion's belt to this fainter line of objects. The middle object in the fainter line is M42, the Orion Nebula.
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    As far as what you can see, you should be able to make out the stars in the nebula and possibly a bit of the interstellar dust and some gas.
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    70mm is perfectly enough for the Orion Nebula. Like Pierre wisely advised: make sure you are looking at the RIGHT object by starting with the lowest power eyepiece. It's really hard to pinpoint a location with a high power EP.
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    Like it was said, Start with the belt and go down the body on his right side, left to you, at the stars it should be there. The Horse Head is just up the side a little ways. Check on Stellaruim...
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    A picture is worth a thousand words. In the photo below, the two bright stars at the top are the left and middle stars of Orion's belt. You can see the entire sword. The thing in the middle of the sword, that looks like a star to the naked eye, is M42.
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    i just got a 90mm refractor and i was having a little trouble locating it even though it looks like the easiest thing to find according to my planisphere and star atlas. it looked like 3 little stars surrounded by a blue cloud. pretty cool.

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    There's actually eight stars, but you'll need about 10" to see them all clearly
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