View Full Version : minimum viewing power for orion nebula

2002-Jan-02, 11:54 AM
sorry, this is going to seem like a strange question, but i'd like to know the minimum viewing power needed to view the orion nebula?
i can't seem to get it at all.
also i've forgotten how to work out magnification, been a long time since i've been able to use my telescope.
all help is much apreciated.

2002-Jan-02, 12:07 PM
The nebula in Orion (http://seds.lpl.arizona.edu/messier/m/m042.html) is visible to the naked eye, even in my suburban sky. It is large and bright. With magnification, it is even more striking, of course, but you can't expect the colorful views that you've seen in photos.

<font size=-1>[Test edit]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: GrapesOfWrath on 2002-01-02 08:34 ]</font>

2002-Jan-02, 01:14 PM
There never really is a "minimum" mag. for viewing something. You really just need to try different mags until you find the best view. Keep in mind that the higher the mag., the smaller the actual field of view, so you want to be mindful that you stay low enough to include most of the nebula in your view.

I'm wondering if you're not looking in the wrong direction, as GoW mentions it's easily visible (without structure, mind you) with the naked eye. Are you aiming at the middle "star" of the sword? If so, try backing down in power rather than increasing power. Also, you might look into purchasing a nebula filter or two. There are different types for different nebulas, so shop around a little.

Finally, magnification is found by dividing the focal length of your scope by the focal length of the eyepiece you're using. So, if you have a scope with f.l. of 2000mm and are using an eyepiece with a f.l. of 26mm, then your magnification is 77X. Keep in mind you more often than not get the best view of objects in space using lesser mag than higher mag. Save the higher for the moon and the planets! Hope this helps a little. Good luck!

". . .are you suggesting coconuts migrate???"

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Wally on 2002-01-03 06:06 ]</font>

2002-Jan-02, 01:22 PM
I meant the middle "star" of the sword, not the belt.

ps. Hey BA. Why can't I edit my reply? Tried several times, but each time I hit "submit", I just sit there clocking until I get a message say "page cannot be displayed".

2002-Jan-02, 01:32 PM
The best magnification also depends on telescope size. I have a 5 inch Schmidt and get nice views from 50x - 100x. On nights of good seeing I will crank it up to 200x - 250x. Larger telescopes can generally take more magnification.

General rule of thumb is 50x per inch maximum.


2002-Jan-02, 01:35 PM

Just did a test edit on my previous post. No problem. ??

2002-Jan-02, 01:45 PM
thank you all. i will check tomorrow as a lot of cloud cover has just descended on me. but hey jupiter looked awesome tonight.

2002-Jan-03, 04:35 AM
Hey Genius, try a good pair of binoculars.
Easy to spot with the wide field of view.

2002-Jan-03, 11:08 AM
On 2002-01-02 08:35, GrapesOfWrath wrote:

Just did a test edit on my previous post. No problem. ??

Thanks GoW. Just tried again, and also had no problem. Must be a server was acting up yesterday or some such thing. . .

2002-Jan-07, 01:08 AM
The Orion Nebula is gorgeous (knocks my socks off) with my 10mm/40mm Zeiss binoculars. The Zeiss 4 exit pupil fits my lousy eyesight and are very light and very portable. Of course, my little 3-1/2 in. (89 mm) Questar gets great viewing of the Orion Nebula (although one needs greater aperture to view the Trapezium stars adequately). It helps to be a member of a wonderful astronomy club, so that you can sneak a peek through the members' telescopes
whenever you want. They, being gallant, are always delighted to find The Trapezium, or anything else in their large scopes, for me.

Those who want to enjoy astronomy should join one of the many clubs in the World (see list in online Sky & Telescope website). Some astronomers in my own astronomy club join several clubs which they visit during their journeys in quest of darker skies. The skies in my state leave much to be desired. Here, it pays to have multiple interests for those dismal nights.

ljbrs /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

2002-Jan-07, 11:45 AM
Had a great view of M42 just last night using my 10x50 binocs. Averted vision really helps to bring out the extended structure. Could easily make out 2 of the stars of the trapizium. Man, I can't wait to get a scope!