Orion Nebula

From Scope F70076

Oct 4, 2008 There were some clouds on the horizon. It was not very difficult to find the Orion Nebula (the Messier object M42). I saw the Orion belt that was quite low on the horizon, but not so low that I couldn't reach it with my telescope. The Orion belt consists of three stars of equal brightness in a row with equal intervals, a pattern in the sky which is very easy to recognize. I saw all the three stars of the Orion belt in the finder scope. Then I moved from the central star of the Orion belt, Epsilon Orionis, also called Alnilam, in the direction of the Orion Nebula, until I saw some bright objects in the finder scope. That line of bright objects is called the sword of Orion.

Then I looked through the 12.5mm eyepiece, and with some slight moving around I saw the Orion Nebula. What I saw was a bright star and a double star near it, surrounded by nebulosity. The bright star was likely Theta1 Orionis and the double star was Theta2 Orionis. It seems that what I saw was almost exactly what Hodierna saw [1], thus it seems that in my conditions I can see through my 3 inch telescope exactly the same what Hodierna saw through his 1 inch telescope. The nebulosity seemed to be more on one side of these stars. The nebulosity was very clear and became fainter further from these stars, it covered almost 1/4 of the field of view (when I say field of view, I mean the diameter of the field of view). But I didn't see any color, the color was not blue though, the most it seemed to be white. I couldn't observe the Orion Nebula for a long time, because the clouds covered it soon.

This was the second object on which I have seen a clear nebulosity. I also saw the Orion Nebula through a 2 inch spotting scope, but this was only a good luck that I happened to spot it. The spotting scope could barely resolve Theta2 Orionis, but I saw some nebulosity around these stars, somewhat less though than with this telescope. I also think that I saw the sword of Orion with the nake eye, it looks like a hint of a short brighter line, I though couldn't resolve any stars in the sword of Orion with the naked eye.

The Orion Nebula was discovered by Johann Baptist Cysatus in 1619.

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