Observing Andromeda and Orion in the middle of the winter.

As has been made clear in my older posts, the Orion nebula has evaded me for a long time. Last year, by the time my telescope arrived, it was already out of my visibility zone. Now however, I’ve finally managed to get a glimpse. It was quite underwhelming, as expected. For a long time now, I’ve noticed that the light pollution in my hometown is much worse than in Bangalore. This is made clear by the fact that even the bright star near the nebula is rarely visible here while it stands out quite clearly in Bangalore. So, in a hopeful bid to have better observing sessions I am taking my telescope to Bangalore to see what comes up. But for now, this is what I’ve got.

Orion Nebula

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I feel lucky to see the trapezium on the first glance. However, as my eyes adjusted to the dark, the cloudiness around the trapezium was quite clearly visible. Averted vision compounded the visibility even more. In my defence, I don’t think the sketch I’ve made is quite accurate because the bright white region at the bottom is not by design. That was a scanning fault.

(Also, to hardcore enthusiasts, I am really sorry for not drawing the headings or the FOV circle)

In the end, I’m really happy with the the result of my endeavour.

Andromeda Galaxy

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When I think about it now, this part should’ve been more difficult than the previous one due to a lack of M31’s proximity to any bright stars. The credit for making this task easier than expected goes to Mirach, Alpheratz and Shedir. These three stars were instrumental for me in approximating the position of the galaxy. Even then, it was just visible with averted vision. The sketch above is all I could draw after observing it for about an hour. Even then, I am not quite sure whether it’s M31 as of now. However, with a magnitude of 3.4, if my telescope could pick up anything in the light pollution of Jaipur, it’s Andromeda.

Horsehead Nebula

I am pretty sure that anybody who ever looked at M42 decided to choose Horsehead nebula as the next immediate target. Well, I was demanding too much of my scope here and these demands were not met (not unexpectedly).

That’s how I spent the last few nights in my hometown. Right now, I am most worried about how I am going to ship my scope to Bangalore. Furious use of padding and foam will be undertaken shortly.

Thanks for reading.

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