Binocular Observation M81 and M82 Bode' Nebulae

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  • Member since
    November, 2007
Binocular Observation M81 and M82 Bode' Nebulae
Posted by theta_orionis on Sunday, December 16, 2007 3:59 PM

Hi!

 Skies were luckily clear yesterday in Dallas area, so I thought I would try my luck spotting the Bode's Nebulae around midnight.

I was using my Celestron 10X50 binoculars, and using the S&T Pocket Sky Atlas to locate it. I also referred to the Harrington's 'Touring the Night Sky Through Binoculars' and Moore's 'Exploring the Night Sky with Binoculars'. According to Moore, it is not such an easy object unless 12X is used on it. Surprising Harrington's mentions that the M81 is discernible even in 6X35.

Encouraged, I spent almost a couple of hours trying to locate the nebulae, without success. Per the charts, I was able to locate the triangle comprised of Rho, Sigma and 24 in the UMa. The 7 degree FOV should have definitely picked up the nebulae. Just could not detect anything.

 Wondering what kind of experiences others have had using such binoculars. Any enlightening thoughts will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and Regards

 

Theta Orionis Televue 102 on Gibraltar Mount 203 mm F/6 Celestron Starhopper 10X50 Celestron UpClose Porro Binoculars 8X56 Oberwerk Binoculars Philips TouCam SPC 900NC Webcam
  • Member since
    July, 2006
Posted by Never on Sunday, December 16, 2007 5:14 PM

Both M81 and M82 are easily visible with any kind of binoculars under right conditions. Also under very dark skies, M81 is visible without optical aid.

Your best bet to see the galaxies is (of course) to get out of the city lights and try again under real skies. The pair is a pretty easy catch with limiting magnitude around 5.5 and 8x30 binoculars.

/Jake
 

Jaakko Saloranta - http://www.kolumbus.fi/jaakko.saloranta/ 8" Orion DSE, 4.7" Sky-Watcher & 3" Konus RFT
  • Member since
    November, 2007
Posted by theta_orionis on Sunday, December 16, 2007 10:25 PM

Thanks, Jake

 Do you think I was looking in the right direction? Just swing below the triangle and a slight move in the direction of Polaris to get to the Nebulae. Right?

 Please let me know. Any thoughts from the gurus would be greatly appreciated. Its clear tonite again. I am gonna head out and try my luck again..

 Thanks and Regards

 

Theta Orionis Televue 102 on Gibraltar Mount 203 mm F/6 Celestron Starhopper 10X50 Celestron UpClose Porro Binoculars 8X56 Oberwerk Binoculars Philips TouCam SPC 900NC Webcam
  • Member since
    July, 2006
Posted by Never on Monday, December 17, 2007 5:36 AM

This is how I do it:

1.)  Start from the 3.5 magnitude star 23. UMa. This should be visible with the naked eye unless you have really light polluted skies.

2.) Move from 23. UMa to the NW to a triangle of 3 stars (Sigma1, Sigma2 and Rho UMa)

3.) Move from the triangle to the NE to a 4.5 magnitude star 24. UMa.

4.) Just below (SE) it is a 5.7 magnitude star and just below it (SE) is M81!

Perhaps this helps too: http://www.kolumbus.fi/jaakko.saloranta/M81.jpg

This sketch is done with a pair of 10x50 binoculars: http://www.deepsky-archive.com/files/huru/messier/mimyl_messier_81+82.png

This is naked eye sketch:
http://www.kolumbus.fi/jaakko.saloranta/Deepsky/Messier/M81NE.gif

/Jake
 

Jaakko Saloranta - http://www.kolumbus.fi/jaakko.saloranta/ 8" Orion DSE, 4.7" Sky-Watcher & 3" Konus RFT
  • Member since
    October, 2007
Posted by Aratus on Monday, December 17, 2007 11:26 AM

theta_orionis
Wondering what kind of experiences others have had using such binoculars. Any enlightening thoughts will be greatly appreciated

M81 is visible in binoculars, even in the kind of skies most of us have to put up with.   The problem is finding it.   My system is to use Phecda and Dubhe in Ursa Major.  Start from Phecda and travel along a line to Dubhe.  Travel beyond Dubhe the same distance.  That will take you within a degree of so south of M81.     Once you find it, you will find it every time.

Aratus

Location:  North West Devon, UK

-------------------------------------------------

Celestron Nexstar8i (8" SCT).

Celestron Skymaster binoculars 15x70

Other:0.63 & 0.33 correctors. X2 & X4 barlow.

Imagers: Meade DSI & Celestron NexImage.  Canon EOS 550D

 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2007
Posted by theta_orionis on Monday, December 17, 2007 7:10 PM

Thanks to both of you Jake and Aratus.

I had tried last night being clear sky again, but failed again. With your inputs, I will again try to look at the Objects this weekend (hopefully skies would be clear).

 Appreciate your inputs.

Best Regards

 

Theta Orionis Televue 102 on Gibraltar Mount 203 mm F/6 Celestron Starhopper 10X50 Celestron UpClose Porro Binoculars 8X56 Oberwerk Binoculars Philips TouCam SPC 900NC Webcam
  • Member since
    November, 2007
Posted by theta_orionis on Friday, January 04, 2008 12:49 AM

Hi! Gurus,

After long, I thought I would take out my 8' dob out to my patio and point it northwards, to see if I could locate the M81 and 82 nebulae. Was pretty hopeful and excited, knowing that these should be easy targets with the telescope.

I did a star hop using Phecda and Dubhe as described in the directions, earlier. Then moved the telescope slightly ( about a degree or so) towards Polaris hoping to find the objects somewhere in the vicinity.

Nothing is showin up really, even when I used the 40mm, 25 mm and even the zoom 8-24mm EP's. I had no problems locating the double and other galactic clusters, or even the Great Orion nebula. I guess I really need to learn how to see Galaxies :-(

Is there any other thing that I might be missing? I thought I was hopping in the right direction. Still the jiggling wiggling the telescope did not help.

Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.

Best Regards

Theta Orionis Televue 102 on Gibraltar Mount 203 mm F/6 Celestron Starhopper 10X50 Celestron UpClose Porro Binoculars 8X56 Oberwerk Binoculars Philips TouCam SPC 900NC Webcam
  • Member since
    October, 2007
Posted by Aratus on Sunday, January 06, 2008 5:31 AM

To be honest, the Phecda/Dubhe guides only really work for binoculars, which was the original enquiry.  

Telescopes have a much more narrow field of view.    Use the widest field of view that you have.   You need to fix in your mind the position, in reationship to other stars, using a map.   Then use a guide scope to get the telescope in the right sort of position.   You can then systematically scan the area, occasionally checking with the guidescope that you haven't strayed.    This is of course the limitation (some would say the fun) of a Dobsonian.

Aratus

Location:  North West Devon, UK

-------------------------------------------------

Celestron Nexstar8i (8" SCT).

Celestron Skymaster binoculars 15x70

Other:0.63 & 0.33 correctors. X2 & X4 barlow.

Imagers: Meade DSI & Celestron NexImage.  Canon EOS 550D

 

 

  • Member since
    September, 2007
Posted by cyberpatzer on Friday, February 22, 2008 11:51 AM

   I picked up M 81/82 quite easily in Tucson (ideal skies) with a 15x70 bino.  They were quite clear (two luminous blobs, each about 15' wide).  Galaxies are just a tad underwhelming in binos.  I picked them up simply by scanning after a few looks at the star chart.

   In Flagstaff, where the sky is good but certainly not as good as Tucson,  I could still pick them out, but they were much fainter due to skyglow/LP.

  In Michigan, I doubt I could see them (just north of Detroit) in the 15x70s.  Light pollution is just this side of terrible. In general, Galaxies and nebula do not fare well here.  

  I will try this weekend (TWO nights of clear skies!!!!!!!!!)--to test my theory.

"Against stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain". ---Schiller Kepler Deep Sky Observatory St. Clair Shores, Michigan Zhumell 12" Dob, aka : (Cyclops .3 Meter ILT (Insanely Large Telescope)) Orion 8" Newt (200mm DAT (Divorce Acceleration Telescope!)) Nexstar 6SE/ (R2D2), Tricked-Out Celestron Powerseeker 127, Short-Tube 4" Refractor Garrett 30x100s / Zhumell 20x80s /Celestron 15x70s
  • Member since
    November, 2006
  • From: illinois, usa
Posted by saberscorpx on Tuesday, March 04, 2008 2:18 PM

4.6 mag 24UMa is my m81/82 guidestar, just 2° west of the pair.
Chances of nokking these fuzzies literally do not bode well if this sun is not visible naked eye.

The two galaxies also make a large but nearly equilateral triangle with
alpha and upsilonUMa.

The Phecda/Dubhe route works best if the line continues over the top
(just north) of Dubhe.


SJS

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