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Post by dazcaz »

The other night I went on the search for the Horsehead nebula. Using my 4" F10 refractor. I failed :(

I know where it is and what it looks like, but no joy.

I have since been searching the net and have discovered that it's not exactly easy. Now I don't want to get a view like you see in the photographs, I just want to see it.

I have 3 scopes.
4" refractor, 5" F11 Mak and an 8" F5 newt.

I'm guessing my newt if the best bet having more light gathering ability.
This is cumbersome and not easily travelled.
Will any of the other scopes stand a chance at seeing this elusive nebula?

Do I need to be in a really dark sky area?

If a very dark sky isn't that important, then I could use my newt in the garden. The other two scopes are easily travelled to dark skies.
Dark skies would be the hard part :)

As a guide to the skies over my home in Cardiff I can tell you that I can easily see plieades and M42 well. I can see M31 as a feint smudge through 10-22 X 50 Bins.

I guess photographing it might be an easier option in some regards, as long exposures show things the eyes cannot see, but I want to see it for real before I start down this route

Any hints and tips you experienced folk can pass on will be very gratefully received.
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David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

The Horsehead is I think difficult. I don't think I have ever seen it.
Other up to date observers will give you much better information.
I am not sure if it responds to filters.

Although I cannot see M31 any more from a very light polluted place with unaided eyes.
For someone with reasonable vision for faint objects M 31 is really easy with unaided eyes from a dark location.
In 10x 50 binoculars it is bright and in 7x50 in the past it was seen to 3 degrees may be even 5 degrees across in Belgium.

I have seen M33 hundreds of times with unaided sight in particular under a lit street light in Margate, Kent.
M33 is much more difficult than M31.
However, in a dark place M33 is fairly easy with any of your scopes.

Theoretically the Horsehead may be visible say with the 8 inch scope but I think you have to go to a really dark site.
I have seen the North American nebula or whatever it is called from the top of La Palma.

So try first to find a place where M31 is really easy either with unaided sight or binoculars.

I have also seen the Merope nebula from the top of la Palma with a 6 inch Newtonian.
Other observers there found it easier than I did in the scope even though I saw fainter objects than they could using just unaided eyes.
So ability to see faint objects with unaided sight is not necessarily an indication of how much one can see in a scope.

Also one should not be in bright sunshine for at least a day before trying for very faint objects.
And a young person needs at least twenty minutes in total darkness to see faint objects well and an older person longer even an hour.

Also eat your carrots and greens.

Regards, David
brian livesey
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Post by brian livesey »

There's the Hydrogen-Beta filter for enhancing the Horsehead and similar nebulae ( California, Cocoon ).
Combined with an 8-inch reflector, on a clear night, you stand a chance of seeing the Horsehead.
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Post by Vega »

Never seen it in my 10" Reflector. Tough cookie

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brian livesey
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Post by brian livesey »

With or without a Hydrogen-Beta filter?
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