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Orion Nebula

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#1 Allan...

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:24 AM

I have some great views of the Orion Nebula right now but am a bit dissapointed that I can't see any color in it. Am I expecting too much? (8" dob here) If I bought a filter would that show color? The Light pollution here isn't too bad and can't easily get to a dark sky site. Perhaps when I DO, it will show color then? Rookie questions, I know. thanks, Allan

#2 Ebyl

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:33 AM

You're really not going to see color like you're expecting (most likely from pictures in books and on the internet). Cameras are much more sensitive to color at low light levels, plus they are taking an exposure over much longer periods of time (often time stacking them on top of each other).

#3 pogobbler

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:44 AM

It's unlikely you'll see much color in the Orion Nebula with an 8" scope. I wouldn't say it's impossible, but it's unlikely. Even with a larger scope, any color you might see is going to be very subtle.

#4 David Knisely

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:12 AM

While you won't see the vivid colors that you see in some photographs of the Orion Nebula, the object still should show at least some color to your eye. What is usually seen is a sort of pale bluish-green in the brighter parts with little color elsewhere. In large telescopes, those people who have really good red sensitivity in their eyes may see a few faint reddish hues in some parts of the nebula. Filters may enhance some of the color in M42, but they tend to only make it a little more greenish. The key to color in M42 is using fairly low power and an eye that is fairly well dark adapted (at least 20 to 30 minutes in total darkness). For a good nebula filter, I might recommend the DGM Optics NPB filter or the Orion Ultrablock. Clear skies to you.

#5 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:59 AM

I agree with David, one key to seeing color in the Orion nebula is using lower powers and larger exit pupils, the image is smaller but brighter. Any color seen will be subtle, a faint tint rather than the vivid colors one sees in the photographs.

Jon

#6 kenrenard

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:48 AM

My daughter has always seen blueish green in Orion. She started saying it last year when she was 5 and still says it to this day. I see some slight color but she claims to see quite a bit. I guess 6 year old eyes are really good.

#7 csrlice12

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:13 AM

"I guess 6 year old eyes are really good."

at least really better then our old tired ones......makes sense though; like a car, they're a newer model and newer models should run better. They definitely have a larger exit pupil....

#8 Widespread

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:53 AM

A few nights ago, I could have sworn I saw pinkish hues in M42. But I was using my 90mm F/7, so I found it hard to credit my perception. I mean, I never noticed this with my 8" F/10 SCT, there's no way I should see it with a 3.5" scope.

But no matter how many times I looked away and looked back, if I held my head and eye still, I kept perceiving a hint of pale pink mixed throughout the ghostly grey green.

I cannot say with certainty whether the perception was sensation or hallucination, but it definitely triggered some neurotransmission in my dopamine (pleasure) system. Wow.

Best,
David

#9 taylornate

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:55 AM

I cannot say with certainty whether the perception was sensation or hallucination, but it definitely triggered some neurotransmission in my dopamine (pleasure) system. Wow.


And too much dopamine can make you hallucinate, so I wonder which came first ;)

#10 NeilMac

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:55 AM

ive been looking at the nebula each time i can and can see light blue, kind of gun metal blue in the EP.
It only takes a few seconds with a camera to reveal blues and greens.

#11 csrlice12

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:21 PM

Still waiting for a clear night for Orion...(going to be at least another week according to the weather channel), But I do know that the Lagoon Nebula appears a smoky blue color in my scope (at least the 11mm ES 82 thru the 30mm), didn't look at it with anything smaller.

#12 Achernar

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:43 PM

People have seen subtle hints of pink or red through 8 and 10-inch telescopes from very dark locations. I never have, if I seen any color at all in the Orion nebula, it's greens, maybe hints of blue. It's quite possible you have indeed seen pink or red hues.

Taras

#13 Mark Costello

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:11 PM

I agree with David, one key to seeing color in the Orion nebula is using lower powers and larger exit pupils, the image is smaller but brighter. Any color seen will be subtle, a faint tint rather than the vivid colors one sees in the photographs.

Jon



Thirty some years ago, I used to view the Orion nebula at 25X and 100X in a very fast 8" Dob I had at the time. I was observing a couple miles outside Lynchburg Virginia, where I lived and worked at the time. My recollection is that especially at low power, the center was very white and I could see mostly greenish colors around it. I don't recall any other colors. I now observe from my yard a dozen miles outside Charlotte North Carolina with a 5" refractor. At low power (31X), I still see a good bit of white in the center, the edges are a dirty green.


Here's hoping the stars shine brightly in your night sky. :)

#14 magic612

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:04 PM

Transparency matters here. From prior discussions I've read here on CN, the more transparent the sky, the more likely you are to see color. Also, viewing when the nebula is at or near the meridian will help, as you'll be viewing through less atmosphere.

One way I have found to increase the color I see in this nebula, ironically, is to AVOID dark adapting. Intentionally shining a (not terribly bright) white light your eyes, or leaving an outdoor light on, may actually help. The thing is, when you're dark adapted, it is the rods in your eyes that are largely working. But rods don't pick up color. The cones do. But to see anything, you can't exactly be using "sunlight" vision. There's an intermediate vision called "mesopic" vision which is between photopic and scotopic. That's where you want to be, visually - if possible.

That won't guarantee you'll see color. Some people never see color visually in M42 even in 25" aperture scopes. Me? I see blue in M$@ using a scope as small as 70mm. Blue/green shows up at 5" aperture, and I get - on the best nights - orange and hints of rose with a 10" scope, along with the blue/green. But not every night with a 10" - only the best ones.

The color is somewhat subtle. But it's there, and it's in the "right" places based on color photos. And yes, the younger the eyes, the more likely color is going to be perceived.

#15 Widespread

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:21 PM


I cannot say with certainty whether the perception was sensation or hallucination, but it definitely triggered some neurotransmission in my dopamine (pleasure) system. Wow.


And too much dopamine can make you hallucinate, so I wonder which came first ;)


I'll have to ask that wife o' mine what I did what that dopamine.

#16 George Methvin

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:48 PM

Have not seen color in a 8 or 10 inch but I have seen color in a 13 inch and 17 in dobs I used to own. Blues greens and some red.

#17 Allan...

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:37 PM

I may never see color in it, perhaps (not with my semi-old 60 year eyeballs...lol). Saves me buying filters that may or may not help. Not a biggy; still Orion is a great site even in Black and white/greyscale. :cool:

#18 Ebyl

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:14 PM

I agree, it's a stunning view with or without color. I love the colors and details in pictures of things like the Orion Nebula, but to me there's something just as cool as looking through an instrument and seeing the object myself. Something about seeing the light that traveled so far with my own eyes.

#19 mman22

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 12:09 AM

I saw some faint blue hues in it tonight for the first time. Same scope, same ep and same eyes, just a darker location. May have been closer to the Meridian tonight, I haven't paid that close of attention up to this point. Magic, nice use of cones and rods, haven't heard those terms in a long time. I have a feeling I might have a dream about midterms tonight:)

#20 northernontario

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 12:32 PM

I see color in M42 with my 16 most times. Especially when transparancy is above average, as was the case last night.


I have seen the nebula appear minty green during lunar cycles. Which to me was very interesting. If I remember correctly, it was over half moon time.

Last night, color was best visible with my lowest magnification E.P (24 mm ES 82). Blueish and greenish with subtle hint of a wine colored red in the upper wing like portions. The fish mouth feature was also easily visible.

Transparancy is the key, and a fairly dark location, which fortunately I had last night. Now if some one could turn up the heat, I`de be a real happy camper.

jake

#21 Jeff2011

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 02:27 PM

I have not seen color in M42 through my XT8 or at least any that I have noticed. But I view from a red white border light pollution zone. The few times I have viewed it from a dark site I don't recall seeing color either. Nonetheless it is an awesome site.

#22 Scott in NC

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 09:58 PM

I think that different people's eyes probably have different levels of sensitivity to various colors under low light conditions. I see M42 as varying shades of gray using scopes anywhere from 80mm to 12" in aperture, while my wife says she can make out a faint green tinge within the nebulosity.

#23 old honda

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 11:18 PM

!!On Feb. 2, at about 7:50pm(local time) I got some bluish green on M42 with my 8"xt and in my 70mm refractor. Very faint coloring but breath taking to me. !!

#24 Dennis_S253

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 12:32 AM

I would like to thank Magic612 for his insight on this. Tonight I started around 7:30 looking at M42. Finished up a little after 9:00. I have never spent that much time on one object before. I'm not really good explaining colors but, there was definitly a greenish blue tint along with a pale pink at times and whitish colors thrown in around the trap area. Along with pitch black in spots also. It seemed the longer I looked the more grey "smoke" everything looked. I turned my head away from the Ep and looked toward a neighbor's light that is kinda hide by a tree for a few seconds and then returned to the EP and the colors where back. M42 was at Meridian at 8:45 from my location. Thx...

#25 magic612

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 01:21 PM

You're welcome Dennis. Just another one of those 'tricks' to see more. :)






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