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M78 Question

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#1 kenrenard

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:19 PM

I think I found M78 tonight. From sketches I looked at as well as charts I was in the exact spot. I was wondering if anyone has experience seeing this from a yellow-red zone. It looked very dim nebulosity around two dim stars. Which seems to be the description.

Any verification would be helpful.


Ken

#2 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:25 PM

I think I found M78 tonight. From sketches I looked at as well as charts I was in the exact spot. I was wondering if anyone has experience seeing this from a yellow-red zone. It looked very dim nebulosity around two dim stars. Which seems to be the description.

Any verification would be helpful.


Ken


Ken:

That sounds about right... M78 is pretty unimpressive, a "found it, next.."

Jon

#3 jrbarnett

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:19 PM

That's it. Like distant headlamps through fog.

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#4 Astrodj

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:31 PM

Ken,

I viewed it a few weeks ago from a red zone with a 10" dob. I had not observed it in years. Still unimpressive :grin:

Don't know what scope you were using but it sure sounds like you are right.

#5 Dennis_S253

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 01:10 AM

Well jeez guy's, maybe everyone don't have a 36" scope or what ever it is that make things impressive to you. The first time I seen M78 with the head lights I thought I seen something really sweet. Of course, I'm sure my little 6" don't impress you either. I hope you feel good and clear skies.

#6 Tony Flanders

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 06:40 AM

I think I found M78 tonight. From sketches I looked at as well as charts I was in the exact spot. I was wondering if anyone has experience seeing this from a yellow-red zone. It looked very dim nebulosity around two dim stars.


Yes, that's it. Except that I would describe the nebulosity as "very bright." It all depends what you're comparing it to!

Unlike some here, I find this to be a very lovely object. Certainly one of the nicest reflection nebulae in the sky. In general, reflection nebulae tend to be fainter than emission nebulae.

#7 Eigen

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:07 AM

IMO the impact of fiding M78 just like with most DSO's depends highly on the point of observation. (Ambient light, sky darkness)

I have in the past quite enjoyed M78 when observing from my summerhouse in the mountains (blue-black sky), on the other hand it gets a big "meh" from me when observing with moderate light pollution. Though this being true for all DSO's and general knowledge...makes this post somewhat asinine. Oh well...:)

#8 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:25 AM

Unlike some here, I find this to be a very lovely object. Certainly one of the nicest reflection nebulae in the sky. In general, reflection nebulae tend to be fainter than emission nebulae.



For me it's just not that interesting. I prefer clusters like NGC2175 and NGC2467 that have an associated nebulosity surrounding them.

#9 kenrenard

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:36 AM

OK Guys. I observed it last night using the Telrad Charts found on the site. I was using my XT8 at 50X. My conditions were less than ideal about 20F with a pretty stiff wind and some clouds off in the distance. With that said it was very clear where there wasn't any clouds and I thought it was one of the better nights for seeing in a long time. Maybe the wind helped?

It was dim for me comparing to M31 or M43 which I realize are very bright. I was looking at M41 just before and M42-M43 so that may be my perspective. I also thought I saw some other faint object near the area but it was much fainter than m78. Could the other have been 2064, or 2067? I looked at the drawing in Steven O'Meara's book the Messier Objects which show far more detail then I saw he describes a skeleton hand! I found some other drawings which match my observation.

All in all thank you for verifying what I saw. I am pretty happy to get this one. I tried several other nights to no avail. Maybe inexperience.

On another note Jupiter was beautiful last night and I saw more detail than ever before with a new TMB Planetary II 5mm. I was really impressed for a $40.00 eyepiece.


Thanks again

Ken

#10 kenrenard

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:45 AM

One other thing I did differently last night. I tried an eyepatch on my viewing eye while getting dressed and setting up. Just a cheap one from my daughters pirate costume. Maybe that dark adapted my eye further than normal for seeing? I may keep trying the eyepatch!

Ken

#11 Astrodj

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:04 AM

"Well jeez guy's, maybe everyone don't have a 36" scope or what ever it is that make things impressive to you. The first time I seen M78 with the head lights I thought I seen something really sweet. Of course, I'm sure my little 6" don't impress you either. I hope you feel good and clear skies."


The OP asked if anyone had any experience observing this from a yellow/red zone. In response, I tried to relate my experience, not yours. To each his own, and I love my small scope views, or even no scope at all..

#12 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 03:07 AM

M78 is the sky's brightest reflection nebula.

http://messier.seds.org/m/m078.html

It's not all that striking visually, however, even through a large aperture.

Dave Mitsky

M78 (NGC 2068)
12/24/2010
14" f/11 Celestron C14 SCT working at f/5.3
FLI MicroLine CCD camera
75 seconds
Bradford Robotic Telescope
Tenerife, the Canary Islands

Attached Files



#13 Madratter

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:00 AM

I actually quite like it, more so in larger scopes than small. The photo above is actually a pretty good rendition of what I see, although I can't see the the nebulosity quite that far out towards the bottom.

#14 kenrenard

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:28 AM

That's close to what I saw the two stars were pretty evident. And some nebulosity. If it ever stops snowing or being cloud I'm going to try a higher magnification and a sketch. I also need to try this from my clubs site which is green. Hopefully it will be clear on our club observing night.

For any other beginner's out there the Telrad charts really help a lot.

Ken

#15 Cames

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:25 AM

Ken,
Yes, you found it but don't give up on it just yet. There's quite a bit more to see there. Identifying those objects will be a challenge for sure and requires a dark site.

If you center M78 in a 1.25 degree field of view, you could find three or four other diffuse nebulae and a dark nebula that reminds me of the Flame Nebula there in that field. They are not breath taking finds but you may obtain some satisfaction by meeting the challenge. It may help to review a photograph of the area before you proceed.

This is the prime season to explore the area. You may have to return to it a few times for things to fall into place. Go easy on the filtration and probably only from a dark site on a transparent night. Take your time and study the area as if everything is important. Good hunting,

Edit: My claim of this being the season for M78 is based on the fact that it culminates at a reasonable hour these days and we'll be looking through the least amount of obscuring air when it is highest overhead.
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#16 droid

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:31 AM

Sky conditions are possibly the more important consideration....one time I was looking for M51 with a 60mm refractor, Id seen it but always right at the edge of visibility, this night it snapped in and more I could actually a smudge in my 50mm finder too.
This was right after a storm had rolled through.
And I have horrible light pollution....so stick with it, and one night itll surprise you.

#17 kenrenard

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:09 PM

I thought I saw something else in the eyepiece that night. Unfortunately the weather took a quick turn and a snow squall rolled in. I plan on taking a good luck the next break in the weather. I find I always see more on the next viewing. I was happy to find it after several unsuggessful tries.

Thanks for the tips

Ken

#18 Tony Flanders

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:56 PM

I thought I saw something else in the eyepiece that night.


NGC 2071, 15' northwest of M78, isn't far behind it in brightness. Another fine reflection nebula.

#19 kenrenard

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 07:02 PM

I thought I saw something else in the eyepiece that night.


NGC 2071, 15' northwest of M78, isn't far behind it in brightness. Another fine reflection nebula.


Thanks Tony,
I am going to look around and try some higher powers. Now that I have an idea of what I am looking for I can see what further detail I can discern.

Ken

#20 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 02:26 PM

Here's another and better image of M78 that I captured with the BRT that shows the nearby faint reflection nebula NGC 2064, 7' southwest of M78.

Dave Mitsky

M78 (NGC 2068) and NGC 2064
12/25/2011
14" f/11 Celestron C14 SCT working at f/5.3
FLI MicroLine CCD camera
50 seconds
Bradford Robotic Telescope
Tenerife, the Canary Islands

Attached Files



#21 kenrenard

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 02:40 PM

The more I look at the picture, I could only discern the two bright stars the night I viewed and what looked to be something around the area. That may be what I saw. Nice picture though. Amazing what detail you can get from 50 seconds. I can see how much more I can get with a higher magnification. Hopefully I will get clear skies on my club observing night this coming Saturday. I am curious what I will see in darker skies and now have a better idea what I am actually looking at. I usually bring out my Messier Object book to see if what I am see is close to the book.

One question. I have a Orion Narrowband filter. Will that help to see more detail in the area?

Thanks for the photo.

Ken

#22 csa/montana

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 03:02 PM

All in all thank you for verifying what I saw. I am pretty happy to get this one. I tried several other nights to no avail. Maybe inexperience.



Whether I'm overly impressed with a target, I'm simply very happy to have found it, and able to view it! :)

Checking my observing record; I haven't viewed M78 since 2006; so now my curiosity is peaked, to go have another look at it! :jump:

Congratulations on finding it, & for starting this thread!

#23 bunyon

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 03:06 PM

Put me down with the folks saying it's a very nice nebula. However, I can well imagine a less than average night and suburban location would do a lot of damage to the view.

#24 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 03:10 PM

The more I look at the picture, I could only discern the two bright stars the night I viewed and what looked to be something around the area. That may be what I saw. Nice picture though. Amazing what detail you can get from 50 seconds. I can see how much more I can get with a higher magnification. Hopefully I will get clear skies on my club observing night this coming Saturday. I am curious what I will see in darker skies and now have a better idea what I am actually looking at. I usually bring out my Messier Object book to see if what I am see is close to the book.

One question. I have a Orion Narrowband filter. Will that help to see more detail in the area?

Thanks for the photo.

Ken


Ken,

You're welcome.

Reflection nebulae are not enhanced with a narrowband filter.

Dave Mitsky

#25 kenrenard

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 05:18 PM

Thanks Carol. I was thrilled and tried several times before. I guess I had a good night. Even though my viewing wasn't ideal I still found a new Messier for me.






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