Re: (IAAC) Obj: NGC1647, M42 - Inst: Orion Optics UK 10" F4.8 Vixen GP/DX
M74 is a difficult object on a moonless night, even in a 10" scope - you will
seldom see more than the central condensation. Last night the magnitude -11.5
moon was only 14 degrees from M74 - totally washing it from your view. The
same is pretty much true of Comet Linear WM1 - it has almost reached naked
eye brightness (easy in binoculars) but was only 20 degrees from the moon
last night - making it exceedingly difficult to pick up. Also be aware that
it is quite large (5 to 7 arc minutes?), so it will appear as a hazy patch,
many times larger than Jupiter, for instance. But until the moon passes by,
it will be next to invisible.
I'd try again in both objects again in about a week. Using your 10" f/4.8 and
a low power eyepiece, M74 will be in the same field as the bright Eta
Pisceum, about 1.3 degrees to M74's southwest.
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