(IAAC) Obj: M42; Inst: 16" Dob

Observer:  Todd Gross
Your skill:  Intermediate +
Date and UT of observation:  1/26/97 (1/27/97 00:20 GMT)
Location & latitude: 22 miles west of Boston, Ma. 42.3N
Site classification: Suburban
Limiting magnitude (visual): 4.8 (est),  est 4.3 in vicinity of object
Seeing (1 to 5 - best to worst):  3
Moon up (phase?): No, just below horizon
Instrument:  16" Dob, xlnt optics, enhanced coatings
Magnification: 170x,95x,202x, 150x, 195x
Filters used: none
Object:  M42, Orion nebula
Category:  Emission
Constellation: Orion
Object data: 
Description: Electric blue-green central area surrounding the Trapezium,
with great amounts of intricate lace-like threading. Cirrus clouds
occasionally dulled the view, making it more apparent as skies cleared, just
how much light emission was noted from this area.  Much more flourescent
than smaller scopes, and even a C14. However, the extensions away from the
center were about the same as in smaller scopes, especially as skies could
have been darker...and I have viewed M42 from darker skies with smaller
scopes with just as much detail in those areas.  (our darkest skies are
after midnight, this was well before when the town is still "lit up") 
At 70X there was a definite hint of red/pink in the arms, but this could
have been an optical illusion because of the close proximity to the bright
At 95x, 6 stars were readily visible in the Trapezium, with E being
extremely easy to find right away, not at all difficult, and F taking only
seconds. At 202x both E and F could be picked out immediately as seeing
stabilized, but no sign of G or H. 
Using a Televue Binoviewer: Maintained well defined intricacy at 150X, and
195X. However, the blue-green coloration returned to it's ho-hum status of
smaller scopes. Apparently splitting the beam didn't excite the rods and
cones, or whatever it is that makes color in the eye as much. It therefore
lost that unexpected flourescent, but was otherwise astounding, and
comfortable to view and explore. Magnificent with a 3-D like view, similar,
in fact identical in "feel" to a good pair of binoculars.
Thanks! - Todd
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