(IAAC) Obj: M42 (Great Orion Nebula) - Inst: 10x50 binoculars

Observer: Lew Gramer
Your skills: Intermediate
Date and UT of Observation: 1997-12-18/19, 08:30 UT
Location: Whidbey Island, WA, USA (48N)
Site classification: rural
Limiting magnitude: 7.1
Seeing: 3 - medium
Moon up: no
Instrument: 10x50 Tasco binoculars
Magnification: 10x
Filters used: None
Object: M42 (Great Orion Nebula)
Category: Diffuse nebula
Constellation: Ori
Data: mag 4.0  size 66'x60'
RA/DE: 5h35m  -5o27'
Even in these binoculars (which provide slightly more
magnification than the most common variety), the Great
Orion Nebula was HUGE and BEAUTIFUL. Extending in faint
arcs nearly to Iota Orionis to the South, and with the
dark "bay" feature caused by intervening dust clouds
readily apparent, M42 was the pinnacle of an evening's
bincoular observing. With averted vision (and helpful
foreknowledge :>) a hint of the classic shape of this
nebula from large telescopes and photographs could be
seen. Even a hint of greenish color was apparent! Truly,
dark, dark skies, good binoculars, and a lawn chair are
an unbeatable observing combination.

Karen Simmons & Lew Gramer dedalus@alum.mit.edu http://www.tiac.net/users/lewkaren