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If you would like to see a nebula with just your eyes or binoculars

Discussion in 'Astronomy & Astrophotography' started by Skywatcher, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    Then this is the time of year to do so.

    Orion, probably one of the most recognisable constellations in the sky is starting to rise in the late evennig - this will get earlier as we go into December/January

    The most spectacular nebula in the Northern skies is situated just below his 'belt' of 3 stars.

    To see it with the naked eye it is important to let your eyes become 'dark adapted' and that means at least 20 minutes of darkness without looking at streetlights

    Then Find Orion in the South/ South East and look about 2 fingerbredths at arms lenth just below the belt - you will see a feint 'smudge' of light - sometmes it is best to look at this just out of the corner of your eye.

    With binoculars you will be able to see a bit more detail and you may even see the 4 stars at the heart of the nebula that are heating and lighting this enormous cloud - these are called the trapezium and are easily seen in my 10x50 cheapo bins.

    You should be able to see what I'm talking about on this pic...

    [​IMG]

    Its the bluish smudge

    Good luck, if you find it this is your first 'deep sky' object :D
     
  2. ukwdwnut
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    ukwdwnut Director of Recruitment Forum Host

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    i see those 3 inline stars all the time, so thats orion eh!! cool
     
  3. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Funny you should post this right now!
    I had an early "call of nature" at around 5.00am this morning, and upon returning to bed I noticed how crystal clear the sky was and the stars were really bright.
    I had a great view of Orion through our bedroom window and I could have looked at the sky for ages if I wasn`t so tired!
    I wish I had known about that nebula at the time.
     
  4. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    You wont have seen it al lthe time recently Mick it comes above the horizon at about 10 ish, is up all night and sets just at dawn. However as we get into the winter it will be up earlier and earlier
     
  5. ukwdwnut
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    ukwdwnut Director of Recruitment Forum Host

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    not looked recently no, but i have seen 3 inline stars like those in the pic, whether they are the same 3 is anyones guess, if it is i have seen it alot previously :)
     
  6. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    oooo definitely going to look for that!!!
     

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