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The Messier Studies...

Observing With The 12.5 Meade




As my differing pages continue to grow and expand, I find myself curious about what I've looked at over the years. Of course, ten years of obsserving is still locked away in my old, hand-written diaries and will probably never been transposed to the web. In an effort to earn my Messier Certificate from The Astronomy League, I opened an area in the AstroTalk forum devoted solely to the observance of Messiers. Although you will find references to these same objects over and over again in my reports, it is crucial to the earning of the certificate to do things in a very specific way. As a consequence, I find myself challenged again to observe all 110 Messier Objects once again... The right way.

It is my hope that this page will keep me on "track" and also inspire you to enjoy these fine, time honoured astronomy targets.

Enjoile!


~Tammy



"Slip into the car... Go driving to the farthest star. I don't need to walk around in circles.... Walk around in circles... Walk around in..."




Messiers 1 through 9....
Messiers 10 through 19...
Messiers 20 through 29...
Messiers 30 through 39...
Messiers 40 through 49...
Messiers 50 through 59...
Messiers 60 through 69...
Messiers 70 through 79...
Messiers 80 through 89...
Messiers 90 through 99...
Messiers 100 through 110...


Messiers 1 through 9...



M1


February 19, 2003
Time: 7:45 pm EST
Seeing: 6 7/10
Telescope: 4.5 Celestron
Eyepiece: 9mm Meade

Comments: I re-observed the M1 last night, more out of form than anything. To the 4.5 it will never produce anything more than an irregular glowing cloud that possess "living qualities". So, you may ask yourself WHY did I do it?

Because for a good number of years I have made a study of the M1, but never thought to note the precise time at which I observed it - There by disallowing those past observations as part of our Messier excercise.

So, for the record, M1 has been revisited... But I need for you to know what the M1 can look like with a 12.5 telescope and a 9mm Nagler.

Please allow the following comments to be added from a past report, dated December 6/7, 2002...

"I don't remember exactly how it came about, but I know from my notes that he set it on the M1 and had other things to attend to, leaving me freedom to study for as long as I liked. What can you say about the M1? Beautiful. Such as "moving" experience to be allowed ample time with this fantasy supernova remnant. The "Crab" Nebula holds true to so many other spectrascopic studies I have enjoyed over the years. The concept of differing lightwaves crossing over one another and canceling each other out... with each trough and crest revealing differing details to the eye is never more apparent than it is tonight. To truly watch the M1 is to at one moment see a "cloud" of nebulosity... The next a broad ribbon or filament... Another? A dark patch. And when you're lucky? An embedded star. Tonight has produced six such stars. I know this is a "record" for me during any given observing session... And this time I want to share. Calling Monty and friends inside to the eyepiece, I want them to "see" what I understand, but cannot always explain. It is more than just the pulsar at its' center teasing the eye... This is the "living" quality of which I speak... TRUE astronomy in action. So much information being fed into the brain by the eye! And so many years and studies that it took to make me understand it.

Sigh...

I guess I do not always communicate well, or perhaps I'm just weird. I think we are all born with the ability to see spectral qualities, but they just go undeveloped. From ionization to polarization... Our eye and brain are capable of seeing to the edge of infra-red and ultra-violet... And magnetism? Don't you tell me we cannot interpret magnetism visually! One only has to view the "Wilson Effect" to understand... And the spinning neutron star at its' heart? We've known since 1969 the daggone thing produces a "visual" pulsar effect! We know that about once every five minute, changes occuring in the pulsation affect the amount of polarization... And the light wave sweeps around like a giant "cosmic lighthouse" and flashes across our eyes. And... And... Oh, well.

Let me get down of my "physics" soapbox and just let it suffice to say that the M1 is much, much more than just another Messier."

I urge each and every one of you who may read this report to take the time to study the M1 properly. Even with limited aperature, these spectral qualities CAN be seen with the human eye, and it is a rare cosmic treasure meant to be shared by us all.


M2


Date: September 28, 2003
Scope: Meade 12.5" Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm and 9mm Meade Series IV
Seeing: 5.0
Stability: fair
Start Time: 8:20 pm EST
End Time: 11:30 pm EST
Temperature: 48

M2 - (10:45) Oh, rock on! Even in the finderscope, M2 smacks the sky. The most modest magnfications brings this tremendous globular cluster from and center! Like it's cousins, the M13 and M22 (omega centauri, too!) the richness and resolvability of the M2 make the trip to Beta worth every moment. Under the srutiny of the 9mm it shows an almost "cut off" appearance to the northwest? Again, I hold it steady and continue to avert. WOW! This is like the one region in the M13!! We have a very distinctive dark dustlane upon aversion, and I find myself having a hard time concentrating on the rest of the structure because of it! The entire globular is incredibly rich and intense. Absolutely one of the best in the sky!


M3


July 16, 2003
Begin Time: 10:15 pm EST End Time: 12:00 Scope: 12.5 Meade
Starfinder Dobsonian Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED
Epic Seeing: 5.5 easy Stability: 7/10

M3 - Beta Comae is the marker for finding this incredible globular cluster. Absolutely outstanding at low power and locked inside a triangle of high voltage stars, the M3 tries to resolve itself even under this low magnification. With a very apparently concentration toward the core, it's time to put some power to it. Several different magnitudes resolve across the face with a density behind them that is just gorgeous. The structure away from the core appears almost as long strings over the starlight. As the very first true discovery of Messier, this fine globular cluster is extremely rich and holds up well to even lower sky position.


M4


July 16, 2003
Begin Time: 10:15 pm EST End Time: 12:00 Scope: 12.5 Meade
Starfinder Dobsonian Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Seeing: 5.5 easy Stability: 7/10

M4 - If you can find Antares, you can find the M4! (and if you scoot antares "out of the picture"? you can find small, loose globular NGC6144 as well. ) As one of the nearest of the globular clusters, this huge structure is powder perfect and incredibly even with minimal magnification. Higher power reveals a linear concentration the cuts across the majority of its' structure. This baby fill the field and appears nearly as large as the full Moon! Total resolution is the name of this one's game... With thousands of tiny, pinpoint perfect star points. Chains arch gracefully this way and that and there are a few very prominent red stars in the outlying area. Tremendous globular cluster!



Sketch done using 12.5 Meade and low power, wide field eyepiece



M5


July 16, 2003
Begin Time: 10:15 pm EST End Time: 12:00
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Seeing: 5.5 easy Stability: 7/10

M5 - Beautiful and strikingly "top-like" at low power, 5 Serpens (a double, dude!) in the field help to complete the picture of this grainy and evenly distributed globular at low power. As one of the oldest clusters known, you sure can't see her 13 billion years in her face! At high power, the stars take on the appearance of halos, rings, and even splayed in some areas. The very rich central portion and its' underlying density appear huge and what lay "behind" the revealed stars evolves nearly out to the edges when the resolution is pinpoint and precise. She holds her age well.




M6


Date: June 24, 2003
Telescope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepiece: 32mm, 2" Televue
Sky: 4.5 Stability: 7/10
Start Time: 11:00 pm EST End: 11:30 pm EST

M6 - Beautiful open cluster at low power. Contains several looping chains and various magnitudes of stars. One notable yellowish star in field, but the rest appear mainly blue/white. Lightly populated, perhaps several dozen stars, who's general appearance really does bear out it's common name of "the Butterfly cluster".


M7


Date: June 24, 2003
Telescope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepiece: 32mm, 2" Televue
Sky: 4.5 Stability: 7/10
Start Time: 11:00 pm EST End: 11:30 pm EST

M7 - Best seen at low power for the general mass of this bright open cluster spans close to one degree of sky. Several magnitudes are within its' perhaps 100 members, one easily distinguishable as yellowish, and the rest tend toward the blue/white variety. To me, the general shape of this open cluster is almost "Orion-esque". As the southern-most study of Charles Messier, the M7 is also one of the oldest in the sky at an estimated 220 million years.


M8


Date: 08/17/03
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 32mm Televue, 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Seeing: 6 ULM Stability: 8/10
Temperature: 56
Transparency: Excellent
Start time: 9:45 pm EST
End Time: 11:00 pm EST

M8 - The "Lagoon" Nebula... What a treat all rolled into one, eh? We have an emission, reflection and dark nebulae candidate and an open cluster as well. When do we even start with such beauty? How about wide field... The 32mm delivers a bright and uncomparable image. The nebulae regions look diaphonus and the eastward open cluster, NGC6530 resolves out in perfection. Sparkles within the nebulae itself are very prominent. Skipping directly down to the 12.3mm I head toward western half and the massive illuminating star and what is commonly referred to as the "Hourglass" region. I find the area to be reminescent of the M27. and not as "pinched" as the term hourglass would imply. Also nearby is another bright patch of nebula. Dropping back to the 26mm is definately the ticket here. Now it is possible to see some filamentary action along the dividing rift that runs at a slight angle through the center. I can see the Barnard Dark Nebulae to the west, but to understand them is a difficult as seeing them! They are pockets of "nothingness". In a field rich in starlight and nebulousity, these strange, black, rice crispies in the milk strewn bowl of the M8 are definately a strange treat! All in all, I find the most satisfactory view with the 32mm. It gives beautiful field, bright image and more than enough resolution to make the M8 one of the premier Saggitarius deep sky objects.


M9


Date: July 14, 2003
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm and 9mm Meade Series IV
Sky: 4.0 easy Stability: 6-7/10
Time: start - 10:00 pm EST end - 10:45 pm EST

M9 - Located roughly halfway between Sabik and Xi Ophichuii and slightly to the east, this magnificent globular cluster is one of the closest to the center of our galaxy and simply rocks at low power. By upping the magnification, the M9 takes on a slightly "squeezed" appearance. At first it apppears to be totally resolved with the 9mm, yet I still catch an underlying density behind the concentrated core region. The star chains seem to twist away from the core similar to a pinwheel - not straight... just a slight twist. The outlying stars are significantly fewer to the leading edge. Several red stars hang out on the fringes. Overall, it gives the impression of some type of blossom about to open up. Very nice!

back to top...


Messiers 10 through 19....




M10


Date: July 14, 2003
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm and 9mm Meade Series IV
Sky: 4.0 easy Stability: 6-7/10
Time: start - 10:00 pm EST end - 10:45 pm EST

M10 - Using both the Yed stars as reference points, 30 Ophichus is the key. Wow! At low power the core of the M10 is very striking... At magnification it proves to be impenetrable. The stars are clustered so tightly against one another that they cannot be resovled individually. The outer edges break apart nicely, though, and the entire globular cluster appears to be cradled in yellow and yellowish/red stars. The chaining effect in the particular study shows them to evolve directly outward from the core in a truly "star burst" fashion. Tight, concentrated, and very bright, this incredibly worthy globular cluster smacks in the eyepiece.


M11


Date: August 18, 2003
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm & 9mm Meade Series IV
Sky: 5 ULM Stability: 7/10
Transparency: Average
Temperature: 72
Begin Time; 10:00 pm EST End Time: 11:30 pm EST

M11 - Time for one more before we call it a night? Then let's look no further than the rich and very beautiful M11. At low power, the M11 holds out its' awesome moniker of the "Wild Ducks". There is nothing like the "leader" in the east and the flat out, comet-like fan of the fainter members spewing to the west. I find the M11 very satisfactory at low power, and intense when maginfied. Again, it shatters into resolvability. Now it is possible to see that the members come in a variety of magnitudes and some color. While most appear blue/white, there are perhaps a dozen or more of those fine reds in there that make me appreciate the dob's capabilities all the more. There is definately a central void here as well, but it does not appear like dark dust, just more like random pattern. The M11 is one of the finest open clusters in the summer sky. Shoot it tonight!


M12


Date: July 14, 2003
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm and 9mm Meade Series IV
Sky: 4.0 easy Stability: 6-7/10
Time: start - 10:00 pm EST end - 10:45 pm EST

M12 - Shifting one finder field away to the northwest of M10 brings up the easy M12. At low power, it appears similiar in size to the M10, but far more grainy and with no apparent core region. Trailing behind it is a very visible series of four stars. At power, the M12 shatters. Complete and total resolution over a core density that seems slightly shifted off center. In one direction, the star chains are fine and appear to spray directly outward. In the opposite, they seem to clump, or gather together more randomly. Again, there are many red stars in the outlying field. The overall impression this particular globular cluster gives is almost "spider-like".


M13


July 16, 2003 Begin Time: 10:15 pm EST End Time: 12:00
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Seeing: 5.5 easy Stability: 7/10

M13 - What can you say? This is absoutely the "grandaddy" of all globular clusters. Striking even at the lowest of powers and the most humble of aperatures, the M13 graces the zenith and history as being one of the first deep spaces places that Aricebo bounced a friendly signal toward. At higher power, the M13 becomes almost a religious experience. Splendidly resolved, the little dark area still fascinates me as much as the red star buried toward the riot of stars that is the core. The M13 has no equal, save that of Omega Centauri for structure, population, and resolvability. Finest kind! (and little smudgie galaxy NGC6207 is just a bonus!)


M14


Date: July 20, 2003
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm & 9mm Meade Series IV
Sky: 4.5 6/10 (warm, slightly fuzzy and unstable)
Time: start at midnight, end at 1:00 a.m.

M14 - At lower power, the M14 appears round, fairly bright and contains an obvious concentration toward the core. It has a very grainy texture that tries to become pinpoint and resolve at the edges. With the 9mm, the M14 shatters into stars. While many single points are visible across the core area, the deep density of this particular globular says it cannot be fully resolved with this aperature. This density spreads almost entirely out to the perimeters of the globular, but definately deepens toward the center. Long chains extend away from the structure, and aversion makes the stars pattern appear slightly flattened. Several small groupings of stars reside at the edges. On a curious note, the M14 was the target of the first CCD image! Wow... I'd love to have CCD eyes on this one. Bet you could resolve it fully then!


M15


Date: 01-26-03
Time: 7:30 pm EST
Scope: Celestron 114
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade IV 12.3mm ED Epic
Seeing: 5.5, 7/10

Comments: M15 is a "powerpunch" globular cluster - even to the small scope! Beginnings of resolution seen with 26mm, and a deepening core concentration. 12.3mm reveals outer edge resolution and definate position of planetary.


M16


Date: 08/23-24/03
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepeices: 32mm Televue, 26mm & 9mm Meade Series IV
Sky: 6.0 ULM Stability: 7/10
Transparency: Excellent
Temperature: 60
Start time: 11:00 pm EST End: 12:30 am EST

M16 - This one I like the very best at low power so I'm sucking every last drop of emission photonage right into the eyepiece. In the 32mm, the "Eagle" bears up to its' name as it sprawls across the star spangled field like a bird in flight. Aversion brings on fine wisps of nebula the extend away, and there appears to be wells of darkness to the north. At 26mm the stars begin to rock out to direct vision. The most concentrated area is to the south/southeast where the embedded stars shine the most direct, high voltage and strong. At this magnication, it is easy to see the small, dark, "Klingon Bird of Prey" that lies at the heart of this huge nebula. There is something special about this area, so let's power up. At 9mm this dark chevron shows much more cleanly with stars caught at the edge. This is the notch, my friends. The notch the the Hubble Telescope blew apart and showed the world the "Pillars of Creation". A 12.5 scope on a clear dark night will show you this place is, but never as the Hubble saw it. Cruise the lobes of the rest of the nebula as well, and you will see many concentrated areas as bright "pockets" of gas, as well as strands and filaments. It surely is beautiful, and I glad I stopped to study tonight!


M17


Date: 08/17/03
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 32mm Televue, 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Seeing: 6 ULM Stability: 8/10
Temperature: 56
Transparency: Excellent
Start time: 9:45 pm EST
End Time: 11:00 pm EST

M17 - Going back to the 32mm, I tend to appreciate the "Omega" nebula far more at lower powers. Its' bright appearance reminds me of a Nike "Swoosh" set in the stellar field. As much as I'd just love to leave it like this, I am studying so I drop in the 12.3mm to tone it down and give structure. And structure the M17 gives! There are tiny starpoints hidden all over this bad boy. Try to watch one? And other appears... And another... And another... The actual base of the nebula itself is like a cirrus cloud and this whole thing fades like a wing tip. It is possible to see several strands in this fainter portion of the nebula, which seem to originate the the trailing portion where the two sections of nebulosity meet. Very sweet. Again, a tried a true object for scopes of any aperature and observers of any skill level.


M18


Date: 08/17/03
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 32mm Televue, 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Seeing: 6 ULM Stability: 8/10
Temperature: 56
Transparency: Excellent
Start time: 9:45 pm EST
End Time: 11:00 pm EST

M18 - Best viewed with the 26mm to this little "sperm" formation of stars can be correctly called out of an already stellar field. Just a bit south of it's grander Messier companion, the M18 contains several d**n close binaries? Let's power up. Yes. Definately. Take the time to mag up on this one, for even I was surpised at the collection of faint stars not picked out with low power. Several apparent doubles are right down in there.


M19


Date: July 20, 2003
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm & 9mm Meade Series IV
Sky: 4.5 6/10 (warm, slightly fuzzy and unstable)
Time: start at midnight, end at 1:00 a.m.

M19 - Definately oblate at low power with a suggestion of texture and resolvability. Upping the magnification makes the M19 appear like a crystallized blue gas flame! The stars seem to literally "reach up"... Appearing as, and in, a "stellar swarm", a handful of precise stars appear across the core, but it does not resolve fully. Mostly random in pattern, this close to the galactic center globular is a fine sight. Many apparent doubles lay outside of its' influence, and the field is concentrated and quite fine at aversion. It can't be shattered... But it sure is nice!

(if you like footballs... )

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Messiers 20 through 29...




M20


Date: 08/17/03
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 32mm Televue, 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Seeing: 6 ULM Stability: 8/10
Temperature: 56
Transparency: Excellent
Start time: 9:45 pm EST
End Time: 11:00 pm EST

M20 - Howdy, "Trifid".... Found easily enough with the 32mm, the M20 responds absolutely the best with the field darkening and wide view of the 12.3mm. Stars sparkle throughout the formation, and the dustlane that runs from west to east are clean and well-defined. The lower, or northern portion of the Trifid, is definately more diffuse. It has an elogated shape that sags slightly toward the intersection of the dustlanes. The most concentration area of nebulosity seems to appear to the east, in a bright and almost regular cloud-like formation. The southwest lobe is definately the "treat" here, for it contains ribbon-like qualities to the nebulosity, and the embedded stars definately take stage in this area. Also, the southern edge of the nebula completes the half circle appearance. The dark dustlane does not continue through it.


M21


Date: 08/17/03
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 32mm Televue, 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Seeing: 6 ULM Stability: 8/10
Temperature: 56
Transparency: Excellent
Start time: 9:45 pm EST
End Time: 11:00 pm EST

M21 - Dropping back to the 26mm for this one. Even at minimal magnfication, it is possible to make out a double in the center of this loose collection of stars. Again, the chaining in this group seem to form a "spider-like" figure with the brighter double handful of stars and there are several dozen fainter ones that accompany the general structure. Not a fantastic object, but even at this minimal maginfication it is easy to make out what appear to be around 11th or 12th magnitude stars the are definately within the confines of the cluster.


M22


Date: 08/17/03
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 32mm Televue, 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Seeing: 6 ULM Stability: 8/10
Temperature: 56
Transparency: Excellent
Start time: 9:45 pm EST
End Time: 11:00 pm EST

M22 - An all time favourite. Found easily with the 32mm, I admire it at this magnfication because like the M13, it trys to resolve. With the 12.3mm, it shatters. As an absolute random in structure, the M22 contains no particular core concentration... It just gets deeper as you go inward. Very highly dense, the stars all appear to be the same magnitude, yet your eyes will drive you crazy with the underlying density - saying there is more there. This is perhaps one of the finest of the large globulars, and the stars simply look as if a cosmic graffitti artist had a can of stars and held the spray here until it concentrated into this fantastic Messier. Truly one of the most worthy in any aperature scope.


M23



Date: August 19, 2003
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 32mm Televue, 12.3mm ED Epic
Sky: 6 ULM Stability 8/10
Transparency: Excellent!
Temperature: 70
Mosquitos: Friggin' everywhere
Start time: 9:30 pm EST
End time: 11:15 pm EST

M23 - At low power, an almost "stringray-like" formation of fine stars with the thickest portion to the southeast and tapering to the northwest. One high wattage while to the lower right. Magnification reveals many fine, small blues and red. This one, somehow, reminds me of the M41 for some reason. It just has some very, very tiny and precise stars in there.


M24


Date: August 19, 2003
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 32mm Televue, 12.3mm ED Epic
Sky: 6 ULM Stability 8/10
Transparency: Excellent!
Temperature: 70
Mosquitos: Friggin' everywhere
Start time: 9:30 pm EST
End time: 11:15 pm EST

M24 - All right... This one is even far too large for the 32mm... But it's a wonderful "sweeper" to collect stardust! It's not hard at this power when you see the open cluster NGC6603 at the north eastern edge to stop and want to mag up. This is the region of the Barnard Darks... It is easy to make them out, especially the "comma" shaped one, to the northwest. There is also a concentration of stars to the west that I believe holds a Trumpler classification as well, but Messiers are what we're about tonight. And as far as open clusters go?

They just don't get more Messier than 24.


M25


Date: August 19, 2003
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 32mm Televue, 12.3mm ED Epic
Sky: 6 ULM Stability 8/10
Transparency: Excellent!
Temperature: 70
Mosquitos: Friggin' everywhere
Start time: 9:30 pm EST
End time: 11:15 pm EST

M25 - Bright, wide open collection with varying magintudes. Best seen at low power, but magnification does reveal a couple of pinpoint reds on the fringes. Again, far better a low, where the patterning seems random with only some chaining in effect.


M26


Date: August 18, 2003
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm & 9mm Meade Series IV
Sky: 5 ULM Stability: 7/10
Transparency: Average
Temperature: 72
Begin Time; 10:00 pm EST
End Time: 11:30 pm EST

M26 - Designation, open cluster? To the telescope? A "Taurus" in stars! Very kewl... At magnification, a grouping of stars headed by a prominent member appears to the southern frontier. Drooping down from this, like pinchers, or the horns of a bull, two long chains extend away and almost gather together to form a circle! There is a very dark, very... central portion in this fairly compact open, but I see no Barnard designation in Uranometria. All in all? A very fine open that should perform best with medium to large aperature since it contains several dozen dim members.


M27


Date: August 18, 2003
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm & 9mm Meade Series IV
Sky: 5 ULM Stability: 7/10
Transparency: Average
Temperature: 72
Begin Time; 10:00 pm EST
End Time: 11:30 pm EST

M27 - Always superb. With the 26mm, the glowing green "bowtie" of the zenith definately waivers, rocks, flashes and excites the eye. Again, I can feel myself caught in all the spectral studies I've done over the years to explain the M27's odd properties. This is something I firmly believe that any observer willing to take the time to truly look at M27 will see. It' lives. Of course, I have explained time and time again about how the central's intense ultraviolet radiation excites the rarified gases and does the lambada of doubly ionized oxygen. But realize why at low power, that the "living" quality is so strong. The sock the magnification to it and understand. The central star... The central star pulses!! Is it a pulsar? No. In every respect it is considered to be a binary. But it is a dying star... And dying stars whack out light across the spectrum... And, and... you really don't want to hear this do you? Then just look at the daggone thing, ok? It's got most definate stars caught within the structure itself, and if you are patient and have a good scope? The central will reveal itself. M27 is one of the finest mysteries in the night. Enjoy it.


M28


Date: 08/17/03
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 32mm Televue, 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Seeing: 6 ULM Stability: 8/10
Temperature: 56
Transparency: Excellent
Start time: 9:45 pm EST
End Time: 11:00 pm EST

M28 - Gotta' take it on the other side, eh? On the otherside of Kaus Borealis it is, and for one of the more overlooked globulars in Saggitarius. Very nice, concentrated and with a phat core region in the 26mm, this one appears about half the size of the M22. With the 12.3mm, it shows itself to be irregular. Outliers take on brighter maginitudes than inner stars. The core thickens and clots with density. Instead of splaying evenly out as with the previous globular, these stars knot, clump and chain in a sunburst pattern. Definately a worthy object for study.


M29


Date: August 18, 2003
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm & 9mm Meade Series IV
Sky: 5 ULM Stability: 7/10
Transparency: Average
Temperature: 72
Begin Time; 10:00 pm EST
End Time: 11:30 pm EST

M29 - A scattered and not paritcularly interesting open cluster whose general formation reminds me of a "box kite". More noticeable at low power as a formation, at least high magnifcation does draw a couple of faint stars out. There are some apparent doubles, and the major stars themselves tend toward the creamy white variety... Just slightly tinged yellow.

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Messiers 30 through 39...




M30


Date: 08/23-24/03
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepeices: 32mm Televue, 26mm & 9mm Meade Series IV
Sky: 6.0 ULM Stability: 7/10
Transparency: Excellent
Temperature: 60
Start time: 11:00 pm EST End: 12:30 am EST

M30 - Small but saucy at low power. Definately saucy with the 26mm! We have a bright core and prickling resolvability around the edges. With the 9mm stars blast across the eyepiece, but it won't blow apart the core! (very kewl... ) This one is not so much density, but the stars overlap the stars, if you understand what I mean. There is no "silver shine" behind them. They are clotted on top of one another! A smile to the blue star in the west, and one very nice globular cluster.

REBOOT:

Date: September 28, 2003
Scope: Meade 12.5" Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm and 9mm Meade Series IV
Seeing: 5.0
Stability: fair
Start Time: 8:20 pm EST
End Time: 11:30 pm EST
Temperature: 48

M30 - (10:30) At low power, the small, fairly bright M30 also appears as another unremarkable globular cluster... But again? Power up and rock the night! Looking like a bullet hole shot it black glass the M30 is being pulled across the sky by a high wattage blue white star. Possessing a rich, core area, the M30 all but defies perfect resolution. It is compact, somewhat flattened and suprisingly brighter than I remember it. The stars splay outward from the core region over the underlying density in almost textbook globular fashion.


M31


January 21, 2003
Time: 7:45 pm EST
Seeing: 6.5 6/10
Scope: Orion SVD8
Eyepiece: 26mm Meade

Comments: Even at this modest power, the M31 overfills the field of view. The nucleus is deep and intense, as are the spiral arms. Very little can be made of of the dustlanes that I know exist, but by pushing the majority of the galaxy's "body" out of the field of view, the southern extension shows the brightening I know to be NGC206.

Always an awesome galaxy!


M32


January 21, 2003
Time: 7:51 pm EST
Seeing: 6.5 6/10
Scope: Orion SVD8
Eyepiece: 12.3mm ED Epic

Comments: To me, the M32 does not have a stellar core. It has an intense concentration toward the middle! Actually, I attach the term "stellar" to those highly diffuse galaxies that are more nucleus than structure - and the M32 is anything BUT diffuse!

As a true elliptical galaxy, that is exactly how it appears. Slightly elongated, or egg-shaped, if you will. The central portion is dense, just like they all are... And you simply get a sense of diffusion as the galaxy moves toward it's frontiers. Very bright, and requiring no aversion whatsoever, the M32 is rather plain.

But she's cool.


M33



Date: 01-21-03
Time: 8:23 pm EST
Scope: Orion SVD8
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade IV 12.3 ED Epic
Seeing: 6.5 6/10

Comments: I have seen no finer views of this particular galaxy than I have throught the SVD8. At last! The "Flying Dutchman" gives up detail!! At 26mm the full form of the M33 is easily apparent and held direct. Spiral arms curl lovingly around a bright central nucleas. Slight aversion gives defination to dark dustlanes. With the 12.3mm, detail in the arm structure shows itself as knots of unresolved stars.

The finest view to date.


M34




February 5, 2003
Time: 10:15
Seeing: 6.5 8/10
Scope: 12.5 Meade Dobsonian
Eyepiece: 26mm Meade

Comments: A very loose and fully resolved open cluster. Toward the center of the cluster is a rather cruciform configuration of stars overlying a handful of very low magnitudes. This cluster contains a mulitude of pairs, and toward the outer portion, the stars begin to chain. Mainly blue/white stars.

**************************
Re-observed:


Date: November 17, 2003
Scope: Celestron 114 newt
Eyepiece: 25mm Celestron
Sky: 5.0 7/10
Time: 9:45 pm EST

Commets: Located roughly halfway between Almach and Algol, the M34 is a pretty little open cluster to the 4.5. With the 25mm Celestron eyepiece, there are perhaps two dozen resolvable stars of various magnitudes. There is no real "asterism" at least to my mind's eye... Just a nice bright chain that loops back over itself like a celestial ribbon, with a notable orange star a bit south of the center. A loose, well-resolved collection and very pretty in the small scope.


M35



February 19, 2003
Time: 9:25 pm EST
Seeing: 6 7/10
Telescope: 4.5 Celestron
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade
17mm Sirus plossol
12.3mm ED Epic
9mm Meade
Comments: M35 presents a very scattered and open appearing cluster to low power. Two of the brightest stars appear respectively about center and toward the northeast. The very best part of this wide open cluster is experimenting with varieties of eyepieces. As you cycle through each variation in magnification you begin to become aware of colors and magnitudes.

This is one open cluster that definately has the "more you seek the more you find" kind of attitude!

Hopefully to be revisited with the dob before it passes away for this season.


M36



February 19, 2003
Time: 7:55 pm EST
Seeing: 6 7/10
Telescope: 4.5 Celestron
Eyepiece: 26mm Meade

Comments: Very open cluster, with a bright, dense condensation slightly off center that looks somewhat conical, and is headed by an apparent double, pointed southeast. Stars form slight chains that run parallel to one another from the northeast to southwest.


M37



February 19, 2003
Time: 8:05 pm EST
Seeing: 6 7/10
Telescope: 4.5 Celestron
Eyepiece: 26mm Meade

Comments: This author finds the M37 to resemble a loose globular cluster in structure. Two very notibly bright stars appear within it's slightly difficult to resolve form, and in significance is the fact the the eastern most one of this pair is quite orange. Four other lesser magnitude stars are easily resolved at this magnification throughout the overall pattern. The underlying density in this open cluster seems to thin toward the northeast sector, with two outlying faint stars due east. Several bright stars are also in the field to the south.


M38



Date: 01-21-03
Seeing: 6.5 6/10
Scope: Orion SVD8
Eyepiece: 26mm Meade IV
Time: 8:52 pm EST

Comments: Excellent resolution on this densely populated open cluster. NGC1907 is also present in the same field of view.

Revisited:

February 19, 2003
Time: 8:15 pm EST
Seeing: 6 7/10
Telescope: 4.5 Celestron
Eyepiece: 26mm Meade

Comments: Now we're talking stars! M38 has a terrific underlying density of "on the edge" resolution with this magnfication and scope. Of superb interest is a bright, wide pair that orient east and west. Three other lesser magnitude stars are also easily resolved, while a good dozen or more of approximately the same magnitude hold just outside the major portion of the cluster to the northeast.

Deserves more aperature.


M39



Date: August 18, 2003
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm & 9mm Meade Series IV
Sky: 5 ULM Stability: 7/10
Transparency: Average
Temperature: 72
Begin Time; 10:00 pm EST
End Time: 11:30 pm EST

M39 - Best seen at low magnification for its' sheer size. Roughly taking up the majority of the field of view with the 26mm, this wide open cluster reminds me of the M6, "Butterfly". The main stars are definately yellow tinged, while the apparent doubles are hued blue. Quite a stellar field. I think this one would be unrecognizable as an open cluster with a higher power. One day I'll return with the 40mm and see what's up. For now? This would make an excellent binocular or small scope target.

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Messiers 40 through 49...




M40



February 6, 2003
Time: 2:15 am EST
Seeing: 6.5 8/10
Scope: 12.5 Meade Dobsonian
Eyepiece: 12.3 ED Epic

Comments: Sometimes methinks our hero "Chaz" must have been a wine drinker, for the M40 is nothing more than a very easy double star! It's a very well seperated pair of whites that are perhaps within less than a magnitude of each other.

Note: While viewing this double, H knicked the handle on the "Grasshopper" on a run-by and caused a moment of vibration. Thanks to his antics, my attention was caught by small spiral galaxy, NGC4290, in the same field of view as the M40. (Something tells me that ol' Charles might have passed on the wine that night if he know what else was there! )

Good dog, H... I owe you one!


M41



Date: 01-17-03
Seeing: 5.0 8/10
Scope: 12.5 Meade
Eyepiece: 12.3 ED Epic
Time: 10:15 pm EST

Comments: Overfills the field of view. The most interesting aspect of the M41 at this power is the revelation of magnitude 13 to 14 "tiny" red stars within the wide open structure. Most notably is the one that resides in the center and the ones to the outer edge.

Re-observed on 02/05/03 at 10:25 pm, with 12.5 and 26mm. Added note: The brighter stars within this cluster form an elongated question mark.


M42



Date: 01-21-03
Seeing: 6.5 6/10
Scope: Orion SVD8
Eyepiece: 26mm Meade IV
12.3 ED Epic
Time: 9:30 pm EST

Comments: No finer fantasy structure than the M42! Overfills the FOV with the 26mm, revealing delicate folds, rifts and tendrils. Embedded stars easy upon slight aversion. At 12.3mm, dark notch that accompanies Trapezium area is perfect. Slight hint of the scallops in structure in this area.


M43



Date: 01-21-03
Seeing: 6.5 6/10
Scope: Orion SVD8
Eyepiece: 12.3mm ED Epic
Time: 9:35 pm EST

Comments: Beautiful seperation from M42 at this power. Dark division often referred to as "the fishmouth" in complete evidence. Wispy and fiberous in appearance. Aversion calls up 2 interior stars.


M44



Febuary 19, 2003
Time: 8:45 pm EST
Seeing: 6 7/10
Telescope: 4.5 Celestron
Eyepiece: 26mm Meade
12.3mm ED Epic

Comments: Overfills the field of view even at 26mm. This wide open cluster comes alive with magnification in its' series of orange and blue stars caught in doubles and triples. Easily caught unaided under dark skies to the southeast of Jupiter on this date.

(revisited with the 12.5 on 2/23/03... and i would thoroughly venture to say that some of these stars go down to magnitude 15 or better on averted vision and magnification.)


M45




Date: Jaunuary 16, 2004
Scope: Orion Sky View Deluxe 8"
Eyepiece: 32mm Celestron
Sky: 5/10 Clarity: Decent Conditions: Unstable
Time: 11:45 pm EST

M45 ("The Plieades") - So how about the Plieades? We tend to forget this is a Messier Object, don't we? When I saw this entry had gone unreported, I realized that time was moving very quickly and I best get this study revisited before it had gone too far west to be seen easily. Even though sky conditions are not the most pristine tonight, it is no problem to make out the fog-like nebulosity around Alycone (a nice four part grouping) known as van den Bergh 23. Temple's Nebula is vague under the circumstances, but still apparent with averted vision and is a soft "smear" accompanying Merope. I am rather pleased with the performance of the SVD8 on the Plieades, for it does reveal a great many of the finer stars that I know to be within this area... But not the red one at the heart! Still, an ultrafine view and one of the more outstanding Messiers.


M46



February 5, 2003
Time: 10:35 pm EST
Seeing: 6.5 8/10
Scope: 12.5 Meade dobsonian
Eypiece: 26mm Meade
9mm Meade

Comments: An absolute riot of stars at lower power! Total resolution, the cluster looks like an exploding firework!! Planetary nebula noticed at this magnification.

Upon putting in the 9mm, the planetary nebula, NGC2438 snaps into view in the northern portion of the M46. No longer appearing as a "bright star" it takes on the appearance of a bubble. At this magnification a push around the field reveals even more stars of around 15th magnitude hiding within the field!


M47



February 5, 2003
Time: 10:40 pm EST
Seeing: 6.5 8/10
Scope: 12.5 Meade Dobsonian
Eypiece: 26mm Meade

Comments: A very beautiful, and very open cluster. Comprised of several magnitudes, it holds a double star at its' heart. For the most part, the stars remain a blue/white, with just a few tinged slightly yellow. One of the blessings of this aperature is the revelation of those tiny, tiny red stars that made their home on the lunatic fringe of this decent open cluster.


M48




Date: Jaunuary 17, 2004
Scope: Orion Sky View Deluxe 8"
Eyepiece: 32mm Celestron
Sky: 5/10 Clarity: Decent Conditions: Unstable
Time: 12:45 am EST

M48 - A sprawling open cluster. Easily caught in the finderscope. M48 fills the field of view with the 32mm eyepiece and is a study in white and gold stars. Several long, looping chains of roughly 12 magnitude stars populate the general area with a slight concentration of stars roughly to the middle that range perhaps a magnitude higher. I see no real asterism in this loose collection of perhaps a hundred stars, although the addition of a handful of golds among the whites do add interest. Of note, there are at least three pairs of apparent doubles.


M49



Study: M49
Observer: jeff barbour & theAstronomer
Scope: 200mm F4 EQ Newt "Lightsop"
Eyepiece: 25mm Ultrascopic + 12.3mm ED-2 using 2x Shorty barlow
Date: 06/29/03
Time: 10:40 PST
Transparency: 5.0-
Stability: 7/10

This observation was made at an altitude of 2500 feet in the Santa Cruz Mountains north of Boulder Creek, CA. All studies were in descent. There was absolutely no moon. I would locate each study in turn while theAstronomer took notes, then ~T would give some impressions and I would take them down.

Description:

M49 - (10:40 PDST) Brilliant circular core region with a small bluish nucleas covered by a mantle of nebulosity. Star trails less than 1 arc minute to the west. This appears to be the core region of a huge spiral with an arm to the S/W. The core takes magnificatin well. Extension to the S/W still suspected. Flares to the southwest on eye movement. (Oh, yeah!! Very large with a stellar nucleas. Concentrated core region and again, I'm breaking from the notes taken for me and tell you there is a notable interior dustlane to the east located quite near to the nucleas itself. The spiral arms themselves are very far flung and diffuse, and I'm catching clumps in the structure that are possibly bright nebula or maybe concentrations of some type. Wide aversion really snaps out those faded spiral arms. It is highly elongate the the E/W. And just for the record? Jeff has penciled in here that what he refers to as a "star" within the galaxy? I refer to as a "clump". Well, fine then. Clumps it be for me... Three please. ;))

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Messiers 50 through 59...



M50



Date: 01-26-03
Time: 10:56 pm EST
Scope: 114mm Celestron
Eyepiece: 26mm Meade IV
Seeing: 5.5 7/10

Comments: M50 is perhaps one of the finest open clusters in terms of color. Even to the small scope, more than half of it's members are easily resolved. At lowest power, the field is wide open... scattered... and contains a few short chains and stars that vary between magnitudes. The brightest of the stars at the northern end of this cluster are quite blue, and form the loose association that appears like the letter "Y". The southern edge contains a red super giant. The center of the open talks "resolve me".

(note: this is my intital observation with a small scope for this year. M50 WILL be revisited with the power of aperature and the notes ammended here.)


M51



Telescope: 12.5 Meade
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade, 12.3 ED Epic
Sky: 6 ULM Stability: 7/10 Clarity: Perfect
Temperature: 10 degrees
Time: 12:15 a.m. EST

M51 - Ah, man. I can see with my own eyes that sky clarity is awesome and when I view the M51 in the 26mm, I know it is. Even at this lower power, the M51 is outstanding. Bright nucleus, the curl and swirl of spiral arms, and the shining mass at the end of the arm that is the NGC5195. I almost hesitate to put more power to it, for I can see knots and glimmers just as it is, but I know you want me to be more precise. At power, the super wide field of the 12.3mm eyepiece does it the justice it deserves. The core area is strikingly deep and rich. Spiral structure begins as little as one-quarter the way from the nucleus. Far more concentrated is the western arm which eventually curls north to meet the NGC5195. There is a seperation from this particular arm branch and the companion galaxy... Yet the extreme leading arm shows very faint structure that appears to meet the NGC5195. To the east, another grandoise arm begins from the nucleus area and as it moves toward the south it branches in a Y like formation. It is in this interior arm that the majority of knots and clusters seem to appear, although the whole structure almost looks like a concentration of them. At the eastern most extreme, a more faded arm looks as if it feathers away in the direction of south. The beginning of the interior arm that curls outward from the southern edge of the core also displays bright knots. To do the NGC5195 some justice, however, I will say that apparent ellipticity is broken to the western edge. There is something about it that reminds me a great deal of the M82... It just looks broken. Very, very fine! I could not have picked a better night to view this galaxy.

Although I wish it had been a warmer one. ;)



Sketch made with 12.5 Meade and 9mm eyepiece.


M52



Date: 01-26-03
Time: 8:35 pm EST
Telescope: 114mm Celestron
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade IV
12.3mm ED Epic
Seeing: 5.5 7/10

Comments: At low power the M52 appears like a very loosely associated globular cluster with some resolvability. A very notable bright white star sits at the western edge of the frontier. With the 12.3mm, resolvability begins, but not entirely to this aperature. Most important is the southeast edge where the revelation of older population stars exist.

REBOOT:

Date: August 30/31, 2003
Telescope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV and 12.3mm ED Epic
Sky: 5.0 ZLM Stability 6/10
Transparency: Good
Temperature: 60
Begin Time: 11:30 pm EST
End Time: 12:30 am EST

M52 - A resolving, rich open cluster that is almost globularesque at low power with bright star to the west. Very fine upon magnfication! The leading bright star is definately yellow and on the upper edge. The total appearance of the cluster is fan shaped, reminding me highly of the M11 and the M71 (globular? no... it's rich open. ;P). It is well resolved and the hundred or so stars that make it up are roughly the same magnitude. Nicely rich, but a tiny bit boring, this is just another example of an open cluster that borders on globular structure.


M53



DATE: June 18, 2003
TIME: shortly after midnight
OBJECT: M53
SCOPE: 12.5" Meade
EYEPIECES: 26mm Meade, 12.3mm ED Epic
SKY: 5 ULM

COMMENTS: Deciding I'd collect at least one more fairly easy one, I set the finder on Alpha and a quick sweep with the lower power picks the M53 out with ease. With magnification, our little Bode buddy quickly takes on the halo of resolution around the edges and gets highly compacted toward the core of this dandy little globular cluster. Very fine...


M54



Date: August 19, 2003
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 32mm Televue, 12.3mm ED Epic
Sky: 6 ULM Stability 8/10
Transparency: Excellent!
Temperature: 70
Mosquitos: Friggin' everywhere
Start time: 9:30 pm EST
End time: 11:15 pm EST

M54 - Very compact and concentrated toward the center at low. High power keeps that tight, impenetrable core region. This one is difficult to resolve completely in my estimation. There is far more density than resolution due to the tightness of the globular, and clean resolution is only seen at the edges.



Sketch made with 12.5 Meade during Ceres grazing event.


M55



Date: August 19, 2003
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 32mm Televue, 12.3mm ED Epic
Sky: 6 ULM Stability 8/10
Transparency: Excellent!
Temperature: 70
Mosquitos: Friggin' everywhere
Start time: 9:30 pm EST
End time: 11:15 pm EST

M55 - Low power, a fine globular that is slightly grainy with a star to the west. Magnification shows a slightly concentrated core region. It is large and loosely structured and resolves very well.


M56



Date: August 30/31, 2003
Telescope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV and 12.3mm ED Epic
Sky: 5.0 ZLM Stability 6/10
Transparency: Good
Temperature: 60
Begin Time: 11:30 pm EST
End Time: 12:30 am EST

M56 - Very small and concentrated at 26mm and not particularly in favor or resolution. 12.3mm brings up a decently resolved, kernel shaped globular cluster who is definately more flattened to the west. Cluster is fairly close to total resolution with stars revealed over core, but there is still a density behind it.


M57



Date: February 28, 2004
Time: 2:30 a.m. EST
Scope: 12.5 Meade
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade, 12.3mm ED Epic
Sky: 5.5 ULM Stability: 8/10 Temp: 36F

M57 - At low power, the Ring Nebula is unmistakable. Like a bright smoke ring caught in a stellar field, this object doesn't usually call me to study it at high power, but I do so. With the 12.3mm eyepiece, the M57 turns into a slightly elliptical collection of braided structure. The interior no longer appears so dark, but has a certain "unbearable lightness of being". There is a star to the east, as well as three faint ones to the north, and two to the south. I see no central star and I wonder if it is because I am really trying not to. Nah. The M57 requires cleaner conditions than it's low position on a very good - but not perfect night to reveal the central.


M58



June 19, 2003
Start Time: 10:15 pm EST
Stop Time: 12:20 am EST
Scope: 12.5" Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Location: South Field, Backyard, OH (unobstructed southern skyline from east to west)
Sky: Easy 5.5 to 6 ULM - Stability 8
Temperature: 51 degrees

M58 - (interacting pair of galaxies nearby...) Low surface brightness, requires slight aversion. Stretched in appearance, but during a moment of clarity, I am making out barred structure? Yes. A definate concentration across the center that holds evenly out to the edges.


M59



June 19, 2003
Start Time: 10:15 pm EST
Stop Time: 12:20 am EST
Scope: 12.5" Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Location: South Field, Backyard, OH (unobstructed southern skyline from east to west)
Sky: Easy 5.5 to 6 ULM - Stability 8
Temperature: 51 degrees

M59 - Same field as M60 and NGC4647 at low power. The M60 core appears somewhat more concentrated and the general shape is more elongated, or egg shaped. Definately at least a magnitude dimmer and considerably smaller than the M60.

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Messiers 60 through 69...




M60



June 19, 2003
Start Time: 10:15 pm EST
Stop Time: 12:20 am EST
Scope: 12.5" Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Location: South Field, Backyard, OH (unobstructed southern skyline from east to west)
Sky: Easy 5.5 to 6 ULM - Stability 8
Temperature: 51 degrees

M60 - A very fine, very direct, very large elliptical. Deep concentration toward the core area and well defined wispiness, or diffuse structure toward the frontiers. (also in the field in ngc4647... slightly smaller, but with an equally bright nucleas.)


M61



Study: M61
Observer: jeff barbour & theAstronomer
Scope: 200mm F4 EQ Newt "Lightsop"
Eyepiece: 25mm Ultrascopic using 2x Shorty barlow
Date: 06/29/03
Time: 10:25 PST
Transparency: 5.0-
Stability: 7/10

This observation was made at an altitude of 2500 feet in the Santa Cruz Mountains north of Boulder Creek, CA. All studies were in descent. There was absolutely no moon. I would locate each study in turn while theAstronomer took notes, then ~T would give some impressions and I would take them down.

Description:

M61 - (10:25 PDST) Large and diffuse, possibly elliptical oriented toward N/S. Vaguely football shaped. Stellar nucleas exists inside a diffuse mantle upon eye movement. Several faint stars appear in the line of sight. Perhaps 3 to 5 arc minutes in size, and shows a frontier to the west. (Very diffuse and moderately bright, I'm not seeing a stellar nucleas. There is a slight concentration that eyemoves to the N/W. For the most part, it is very even and slightly ovoid.


M62



Date: September 28, 2003
Scope: Meade 12.5" Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm and 9mm Meade Series IV
Seeing: 5.0
Stability: fair
Start Time: 8:20 pm EST
End Time: 11:30 pm EST
Temperature: 48

M62 - Easily located south of the M19 at low power, we have passed through many fainter NGC halo globulars in this area. Near the galactic core, the M62 is a bright ball of stars edging on resolution at low power, but delivers the strange and unusual at high. There is a very distinctive flattening of the stars to the northern perimeter. Once again, a rich globular like it's predecessor, M19... And like the M19 most definately affected by the gravitational pull of the galactic center. While the M19 is flattened east/west, it is hard to miss the M62's "cropped top". I can only describe this globular as "dented" and smile at the superior resolution!


M63




Date: February 28, 2004
Time: 1:05 a.m. EST
Scope: 12.5 Meade
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade, 12.3mm ED Epic
Sky: 5.5 ULM Stability: 8/10 Temp: 36F

M63 - At low power. the M63 resides in a stellar field, appears slighty ovid with a concentrated core and a bright star at the leading edge. Upon magnification, an apparent double resides on the eastern edge, accompanied by another close pairing. The nucleus region has now become highly compacted, concentrated and very bright. The arm structure fades outward gradually, ending in a grainy, on the edge of resolvability texture. At times, the nucleus will appear almost stellar while averting and looking for structure. The trailing edge of the galaxy is more diffuse.


M64



Telescope: 12.5 Meade
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade, 12.3 ED Epic
Sky: 6 ULM Stability: 7/10 Clarity: Perfect
Temperature: 10 degrees
Time: 12:35 a.m. EST

M64 - Hey, little dude! At 26mm the M64 is bright, easy and very conspicuously in the field of triangulating stars, with a real dandy to the south. At this magnification, it is compact, concentrated, with a bright nucleus, a dark dustlane on wide aversion and an oddity in structure. With the 12.3mm eyepiece in place, all questions are answered. The M64's nucleus is too large to refer to as a stellar point, but it is bright enough to be considered stellar. With slightly averted vision, a conspicuous, single dark dustlane lays shifted south of the central portion of the galaxy, and if not for a slight curve to it, would seem to bissect it. The M64 has a curious extension to the northwest, pulling the overall structure of the galaxy into a tear-drop shape. While looking at this extension, averted vision cleanly picks out concentrations of structure that border the dark dustlane again to the south. The whole galaxy gives off a rather uneven appearance... Like no particular area can make up its' mind where to shine or fade the most! Most curious and well worth the hunt.


M65



January 20, 2004
Scope: 12.5 Meade
Eyepieces: 32mm Televue, 26mm Meade, 12.3mm ED Epic
Sky: 5.5 Clarity: Excellent
Condtions: Very stable Temperature: 10
Time: 11:45 pm EST

M65 - Beautiful, bright tilted spiral with an incredibly strong interior that just barely fits in the same field of view with M66 in the 26mm. Now let's go pick it apart! When I quit drooling, I see the M65 is highly concentrated... And I do mean highly. No discernable nucleas, the whole thing looks simply jam packed with stars right until it starts to fade out to the edges. And... And there is like five exclaimation points on my notes here... I am seeing something on the trailing edge. There is, upon slight aversion, a dark dustlane! Holy moly... Look east! As you hold the nearby star, you can see a definate dark division... And that's not all! To both the north and south, wispy extensions appear stretching this puppy out even more proportionally! Man... I am very glad I took the time to really study this one! I've never seen that before... Too cool!


M66



January 20, 2004
Scope: 12.5 Meade
Eyepieces: 32mm Televue, 26mm Meade, 12.3mm ED Epic
Sky: 5.5 Clarity: Excellent
Condtions: Very stable Temperature: 10
Time: 11:55 pm EST

M66 - In the same low power field as M65, appears brighter and smaller than it's companion. At power? No comparison. The M66 has been a long standing favourite of mine. Appearing as spiral structure, the core area is ragged and spread out, giving it the look of a barred... but not the concentric rings I associated with that structure. There is some "clumping" or concentration of star light predominately to the leading, or western edge. It's orientation is roughly north/south, and some structure is also evident toward the north. What really gets to me with this one is the southern tip of the arm. I've seen this in the past, and tonight it really appears to "glow" with a light of its' own. It is nothing more than and extension of the arm, but brother? That thing looks almost like a jet! Superb galaxy.

M67



February 19, 2003
Time: 9:00 pm EST
Seeing: 6 7/10
Scope: 4.5 Celestron
Eyepiece: 12.3mm ED Epic

Comments: Although I enjoy the M67 under any magnification, I prefer this one on this occasion to help with resolution at small aperature. The M67 is a fine splay of stars that orients itself between the southwest and northeast and the stars appear very even and of the same magnitude within the body of this bluish cluster.

(Note: This is one of the finer Messier studies, for it is known as a galactic cluster. The M67 has the distinction of rivaling even the oldest globular clusters in age (surpassed only by the NGC188), and it breaks all the rules by being well outside the galactic plane. According to a H-R diagram these stars have evidently already passed through the red giant stage and have broken all the rules by returning to their hot, blue youth!! Dig it... )


M68



July 16, 2003
Begin Time: 10:15 pm EST End Time: 12:00
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Seeing: 5.5 easy Stability: 7/10

M68 - Small and powerful at low magnification, the edges try to resolve themselves out. Higher power brings on a silvery-blue appearance and a prominent chain of stars cut across the dense core. A handful of red stars lay along the well resolved fringes and apparent doubles occur with varying magnitudes. A very fine little globular!


M69



Date: August 19, 2003
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 32mm Televue, 12.3mm ED Epic
Sky: 6 ULM Stability 8/10
Transparency: Excellent!
Temperature: 70
Mosquitos: Friggin' everywhere
Start time: 9:30 pm EST
End time: 11:15 pm EST

M69 - Low power shows a small, bright and compact globular cluster. Magnification reveals a concentrated core and many stars resolve over the core region and well as at the outlying edges. This one is almost "clumpy" in structure.

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Messiers 70 through 79...




M70



Date: August 18, 2003
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm & 9mm Meade Series IV
Sky: 5 ULM Stability: 7/10
Transparency: Average
Temperature: 72
Begin Time; 10:00 pm EST
End Time: 11:30 pm EST

M71 - Yes! Now we're talkin'... M71 has always been a "cluster" in debate. Is this a rich galactic open? Is this a loose globular? What precisely does the sequence stars tell us? Well, how about we just look at the daggone thing, eh? With the 26mm the call would be loose globular... Bright, even and definately concentrated. At 9mm? Shattered. Complete and total resolution with absolutely no core region. Toward the south, a much brighter stellar point suggests that this rich "open" possesses both population I and II stars. Motoring the eye toward the northeast, the pattern of the stars seem to "fan" this way, making it very similar to how the M11 behaves. Again, a fine target and one that I know behaves well in small aperature and rocks the night in large. Visit it! And visit it often....


M72



Date: 08/23-24/03
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepeices: 32mm Televue, 26mm & 9mm Meade Series IV
Sky: 6.0 ULM Stability: 7/10
Transparency: Excellent
Temperature: 60
Start time: 11:00 pm EST End: 12:30 am EST

M72 - At 32mm to locate (yes, i need a wide field crutch, ok?) there is a pair to the south. Low magnification shows a concentration of stars. 26mm shows a bright core area and the beginnings of resolution. 9mm rocks it out! There is a distinct chain at the edge (coffee ring on notes, it looks like i have written the chain is on the eastern edge.) Some stars do resolve over the core area in a scattered manner but do not completely overcome the density. Actually? This one is kind of nice because it is different that the ones like M22 and M4. It's possible to see variants in magnitude here, and the structure is less "sprayed on" looking. Very nice!

REBOOT:

Date: September 28, 2003
Scope: Meade 12.5" Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm and 9mm Meade Series IV
Seeing: 5.0
Stability: fair
Start Time: 8:20 pm EST
End Time: 11:30 pm EST
Temperature: 48

M72 - (10:15 pm) Since I don't recall whether or not I've included the M72 in my Messier "hit list" I go to it first. At low power it is very unremarkable. Small, dim and of no resolution. Inserting the 9mm does wonders. A beautiful white and yellow double shows at the southern edge and it does not take long at aversion to notice the M72 is also "core shifted" to the north as well. It is at aversion that it is possible to notice the fine points of resolution and a very distinct chain of stars that cuts across the southern border. The core region is only slightly more concentrated that the overall structure, but the edges resolve nicely.


M73



Date: 08/23-24/03
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepeices: 32mm Televue, 26mm & 9mm Meade Series IV
Sky: 6.0 ULM Stability: 7/10
Transparency: Excellent
Temperature: 60
Start time: 11:00 pm EST End: 12:30 am EST

M73 - 32mm. Four stars? Check map... 26mm Four stars. Check description. Four stars. OK, then! Let's whack 9mm down on it and see if we can't say something nice about four stars. Oh, you got it... The primary member of this small group is yellow. Very yellow. The power of gold being shepherded along with three finer whites. An apparent blue/red double lay to the north and the M73 itself is at the end of a fine, averted vision string of stars. How was that "four" nice?


M74



Date: January 18, 2004 Eyepieces: 26mm Meade, 12.3mm ED Epic
Visibility: 5/10 Conditions: Unstable Temp: 15
Time: 8:20 pm EST

M74 - I had chosen the Orion for a specific reason on this galaxy. To my recollection, the M74 was rather large and I remember spiral structure, but low surface brightness. I have been impressed in the past by the Orion's ability to improve these particular studies and I was not disappointed.
The M74 does indeed appear as a rather large, face-on spiral. At 26mm it has a stellar nucleus, round, misty structure and is in a stellar field. At 9mm the nucleaus improves by showing condensation and the beginning hints of dustlanes upon aversion, with a notable arm structure that ends in a chain of three stars. I am also picking up a few glints at the frontiers of the structure which I believe are probably field stars and not part of the galaxy.

REBOOT:


January 20, 2004
Scope: 12.5 Meade
Eyepieces: 32mm Televue, 26mm Meade, 12.3mm ED Epic
Sky: 5.5 Clarity: Excellent
Condtions: Very stable Temperature: 22
Time: 7:30 pm EST

M74 - Lowest power reveals the M74 spiral structure immediately. Caught in a stellar field, the signature of a face on spiral with a concentrated nucleus is easily held direct. No questions... But no structure. Switching to 26mm reveals the beginning of dark dustlanes, more noticable toward a chain of three stars. The nucleas now becomes a stellar like point and shows condensation. The 12.3mm shreds it, dude. The ultra wide field of view provides admirable eye relief, and totally dims out structure. There are three stellar points, or condensations at the edges of this galaxy and two arm structures. The dark dustlanes that define the arms are more easily caught upon wide aversion. Upon serious study, the M74 almost appears to expand! There is a grouping of three stars to the side and the perimeters of the galaxy seem to mist away almost to these! Very large and very fine... The M74 is a worthy study for any aperture.


M75



Date: September 29, 2003
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm and 9mm Meade Series IV
Sky: 4.5 (stability excellent)
Transparency: average
Time: 9:15 pm EST
Temperature: 48 degrees

M75 - Oh, I gotcha'. At low power, this last of my summer studies is a faded little beast with an unimstakeable stellar core. Now that I've find you? Let's just see what you're made of... At 9mm we have globular cluster. We have a white hot core region that defies any type of resolution and surrounded by density. The only resolution this one offers is at the outlying edges, but patience and aversion brings up an occasional sparkle across the face. I know this is a rather tired phrase, but this one does look like a "gone to seed" dandelion. The core region is white and concentrated, the density resembles the "fluff", while the tiny seeds that reside at the edges are like the resolvable stars. It's small. It's peculiar. And tonight?

It's mine.


M76



January 21, 2003
Time: 8:40 pm EST
Seeing: 6.5 6/10
Scope: Orion SVD8
Eypieces: 26mm Meade
12.3 ED Epic

Comments: Billed as one of the faintest of the Messiers, I find the "Little Dumbbell" to be anything but faint. To the eye of the 26mm, it appears much like a bowtie, but when averting takes on a "box-like" look. Actually, what happens is that the eye perceives the Millikan as a disturbance in spectra... But you break that visual light right back down into two lobes.

With the 9mm, the lobes now become more apparent, with one distinctly brighter than the other and a star embedded at the edge. Eye movement allows the central star to be caught, but it cannot be "held" at this aperature.

A real beauty!


M77



February 5, 2003
Time: 9:30 pm EST
Seeing: 6.5 8/10
Scope: 12.5 Meade Dobsonian
Eyepiece: 26mm Meade
12.3 ED Epic

Comments: Although this galaxy had westered too far to enjoy it in the way I know the dob is capable of, I am still not disappointed with the appearance. Lovely spiral M77 at low power has a bright central core and a hint of spiral structure.

At magnification, the nucleus becomes much more intense and the hint of arms seem to be over and under in relationship to the two stars beside it.

Note: Under optimal viewing height, the M77 can and does produce wispy spiral arms and definate dust lanes with aperature.


M78



Date: 01-26-03
Time: 10:10 pm EST
Scope: 114mm Celestron
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade IV
12.4mm ED Epic

Comments: At low power the M78 appears as a small circular nebula, and interior stars are only caught upon aversion. At higher power, it reveals two areas of concentration, and the two inner stars are now seen direct.


M79



February 5, 2003
Time: 10:00 pm EST
Seeing: 6.5 8/10
Scope: 12.5 Meade dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade
12.3 ED Epic
9mm Meade

Comments: What a merry chase this little globular gave me! It had been a great many years since I looked it up... and... well... it took me awhile, eh?

Once located in the 26mm, it appeared to the dob as all globular clusters do. Trying to resolve. A nearby double calls for exploration, but I've got a cluster to study!

At 12.3mm resolution truly begins around the edges. The cluster now takes on a bluish cast and a flattened or "squeezed appearance" that reminds me of some seen in the Ophiuchus region.

With the study grade 9mm in place, there is no question to resolution. A double handful of stars overlay the hidden density that makes me wish for more aperature! These stars do not chain, but lay in a rather random pattern, with just a few outlying the globulars central structure.

to top of page...




Messiers 80 through 89...



July 16, 2003
Begin Time: 10:15 pm EST End Time: 12:00
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Seeing: 5.5 easy Stability: 7/10

M80 - Located roughly halfway between Graffias and Antares, this compact globular is not so shy to aperature. At low magnification, this little powerpunch is shephered across the sky by two accompanying stars and will not resolve. At power, the core still remains unresolved. Two fine chains of stars seem to bracket it, while a distinguishable arch of resolved stars appears at the edge. Beautifully dense, this small globular is a worthwhile study.


M81



January 21, 2003
Time: 10:25 pm EST
Seeing: 6.5 6/10
Scope: Orion SVD8
Eypieces: 26mm Meade
12.3 ED Epic

Comments: As a long time study, I still enjoy the M81 as one of the premier spiral galaxies. At lower power, with the scope, I am just barely able to keep it in the field with the M82. It has a very bold core area, highly concentrated.

By upping the ante to the 12.3, the core takes on that "stellar" appearance. Soft spiral structure begins to take place both above and under the galaxy proper. The most diffuse of these arms ends over the east/west elongations. The intense population of stars gives the M81 an almost "golden" tone to it's coloration.

One of the best...

(revisited on 02/05/03 with 12.5 dobsonian... aye, carumba... this beauty looks like a smaller version of the m31!)



Sketch done with 12.5 Meade under maximum magnfication


M82



January 21, 2003
Time: 10:30 pm EST
Seeing: 6.5 6/10
Scope: Orion SVD8
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade
12.3 ED Epic

Comments: At low power, the M82 is a slender, almost edge-on appearing galaxy, held direct, and moves mainly toward the east/west. It just barely fits in the field of view with the M81 and this scope. Most notably, when beginning the process of aversion, you will notice the bright star along the western portion of the galaxy.

Upon magnification, this one bears out it's irregular classification. Also a long time study, the M82's spindle like appearance has a signature notch in the structure about 1/3 the way long its' length. There is no real nucleus to the structure. The whole thing appears mottled... Like cream seperated by skim milk. One of the most highly regarded features (by me, anyhow) is the silver signature of spectra on this galaxy. The huge amounts of polarized light that this galaxy throws off affects the color sense.

A feature you might want to look for!

(revisited with the 12.5 dob on 02/05/02... much smacking of lips!)



Sketch made with 12.5 Meade using maximum magnification


M83



Study: M83
Observer: jeff barbour & theAstronomer
Scope: 200mm F4 EQ Newt "Lightsop"
Eyepiece: 25mm Ultrascopic + 12.3mm ED-2 using 2x Shorty barlow
Date: 06/29/03
Time: 10:10 PST
Transparency: 5.0-
Stability: 7/10

This observation was made at an altitude of 2500 feet in the Santa Cruz Mountains north of Boulder Creek, CA. All studies were in descent. There was absolutely no moon. I would locate each study in turn while theAstronomer took notes, then ~T would give some impressions and I would take them down.

Description:

M83 - (10:10 PDST) Located by triangulation with Gamma and Pi Hydrae, it is a very large tilted spiral. Brilliant star-like core and core region. 10 arc minutes in length and oriented S/W = N/E. Billows on eye movement. The S/E frontier is much more defined. Paralleled by a chain of 10th magnitude stars to the east, many 12th magnitude stars are in the galactic area. It take magnification very well, and with the 12.3mm reveals a bulge around the core. S/E frontier is more pronounced. Several stellar points in areas. As Admiral Smythe would say? "Very lively." ( The core on this one is walkin' and talkin'!! Pretty large, relatively diffuse and very pronounced spiral arms. Many starlike concentrations are visible along the arm structure. Very sweet lanes. especailly pronounced to the south.)


M84



Study: M84
Observer: jeff barbour & theAstronomer
Scope: 200mm F4 EQ Newt "Lightsop"
Eyepiece: 25mm Ultrascopic w 2x Shorty barlow
Date: 06/26/03
Time: 10:35
Transparency: 5.0-
Stability: 6-/10

This and the following observations of the Coma-Virgo Galaxy Cluster were made at an altitude of 2500 feet in the Santa Cruz Mountains north of Boulder Creek, CA. All studies were in descent - well outside the skies middle third but still well above the western horizon. All of Leo was visible throughout this series and there was absolutely no moon. I would locate each galaxy in turn while theAstronomer took notes, then ~T would give some impressions and I would take notes.

Description:

M84 - (10:35) Bright but relatively small. Slightly smaller and dimmer than M86. Flares to the S/W on eye movement. Shares the field with M86 and three NGC galaxies. An edge-on triangulates to the south with a highly prominent stellar core. In the center of the triangle is a small, diffuse galaxy with a flared mantle. Another is seen to the north of M86. Very diffuse. Eye movement brings a sense of condensation.

REBOOT:


June 19, 2003
Start Time: 10:15 pm EST
Stop Time: 12:20 am EST
Scope: 12.5" Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Location: South Field, Backyard, OH (unobstructed southern skyline from east to west)
Sky: Easy 5.5 to 6 ULM - Stability 8
Temperature: 51 degrees

M84 - Same field as M86 and identical in both brightness and core structure... The M86, however appears more round.

Personal note: This particular field at low power contains several NGC objects as well. Just try and stay focused on a Messier!


M85



Study: M85
Observer: jeff barbour & theAstronomer
Scope: 200mm F4 EQ Newt "Lightsop"
Eyepiece: 25mm Ultrascopic w 2x Shorty barlow
Date: 06/26/03
Time: 10:27
Transparency: 5.0-
Stability: 6-/10

This and the following observations of the Coma-Virgo Galaxy Cluster were made at an altitude of 2500 feet in the Santa Cruz Mountains north of Boulder Creek, CA. All studies were in descent - well outside the skies middle third but still well above the western horizon. All of Leo was visible throughout this series and there was absolutely no moon. I would locate each galaxy in turn while theAstronomer took notes, then ~T would give some impressions and I would take notes.

Description:

M85 - (10:27) Condensed core - Elliptical. N/A orientation. Intense nucleas. Bright, diffuse with a faint companion to the N N/W... Much smaller, approximately 1/3 the size of the M85 - 1 to 1.5 magnitudes in difference. 13th magnitude star trailing and to the north. (~T: Direct, bright, very concentrated. Companion NGC diffuse, easy and direct with a smallish mantle. We both confirmed the location and approximation of the companion galaxy.)

REBOOT:

June 19, 2003
Start Time: 10:15 pm EST
Stop Time: 12:20 am EST
Scope: 12.5" Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Location: South Field, Backyard, OH (unobstructed southern skyline from east to west)
Sky: Easy 5.5 to 6 ULM - Stability 8
Temperature: 51 degrees

M85 - Easy direct. Double star at edge of field at low power. Very even, round in shape and posseses a defined core region.


M86



Study: M86
Observer: jeff barbour & theAstronomer
Scope: 200mm F4 EQ Newt "Lightsop"
Eyepiece: 25mm Ultrascopic w 2x Shorty barlow
Date: 06/26/03
Time: 10:35
Transparency: 5.0-
Stability: 6-/10

This and other observations of the Coma-Virgo Galaxy Cluster were made at an altitude of 2500 feet in the Santa Cruz Mountains north of Boulder Creek, CA. All studies were in descent - well outside the skies middle third but still well above the western horizon. All of Leo was visible throughout this series and there was absolutely no moon. I would locate each galaxy in turn while theAstronomer took notes, then ~T would give some impressions and I would take notes.

Description:

M86 - (10:35) Bright but relatively small. Slightly larger and brighter than M84 (some 20 arcmins due west). Flares to the northwest on eye movement. Shares the field with M84 and three NGC galaxies. An edge-on triangulates to the south with a highly prominent stellar core. In the center of the triangle is a small, diffuse galaxy with a flared mantle. Another is seen to the north. Very diffuse. Eye movement brings a sense of condensation. Two Messier-class NGC galaxies visible to the east but requires that M84 be moved out of the field using this eyepiece and magnification. These orient north south separated by about 5 arcmins. Each shows obvious condensation and a round mantle or aura of luminosity that bleeds into space..

REBOOT:

June 19, 2003
Start Time: 10:15 pm EST
Stop Time: 12:20 am EST
Scope: 12.5" Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Location: South Field, Backyard, OH (unobstructed southern skyline from east to west)
Sky: Easy 5.5 to 6 ULM - Stability 8
Temperature: 51 degrees

M86 - Oval shaped, bright, and easily direct. Holds a definate concentration toward the central region. Slight fading toward the frontiers.



Sketch made of M84/86 Galaxy field with 12.5 Meade and 32mm Televue


M87



Study: M87
Observer: jeff barbour & theAstronomer
Scope: 200mm F4 EQ Newt "Lightsop"
Eyepiece: 25mm Ultrascopic w 2x Shorty barlow
Date: 06/26/03
Time: 10:50
Transparency: 5.0-
Stability: 6-/10

This and other observations of the Coma-Virgo Galaxy Cluster were made at an altitude of 2500 feet in the Santa Cruz Mountains north of Boulder Creek, CA. All studies were in descent - well outside the skies middle third but still well above the western horizon. All of Leo was visible throughout this series and there was absolutely no moon. I would locate each galaxy in turn while theAstronomer took notes, then ~T would give some impressions and I would take notes.

Description:

M87 - (10:50) Face-on, bright, direct, round and slightly blue. High surface brightness. Large, expanded mantle - a companion located to the S/W. Tight nucleas and slightly diffuse. A "come and go" stellar point. Possible faint companion to the N/E near a magnitude 11 star. Another approximately 15 arc minutes to the S/SW that is diffuse and averted. (~T: Definate spiral with a concetrated nucleas that covered approximately 50% of the easily visible structure. Notes a bit fuzzy here but obviously we validated each other's sightings of companions.

REBOOT:

June 19, 2003
Start Time: 10:15 pm EST
Stop Time: 12:20 am EST
Scope: 12.5" Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Location: South Field, Backyard, OH (unobstructed southern skyline from east to west)
Sky: Easy 5.5 to 6 ULM - Stability 8
Temperature: 51 degrees

M87 - Very bright and even elliptical... Easily held direct with just a slight misting effect at the frontiers. Wide aversion shows two much smaller companion galaxies in the field. d**n fine.


M88



June 19, 2003
Start Time: 10:15 pm EST
Stop Time: 12:20 am EST
Scope: 12.5" Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Location: South Field, Backyard, OH (unobstructed southern skyline from east to west)
Sky: Easy 5.5 to 6 ULM - Stability 8
Temperature: 51 degrees

M88 - Also easily held direct. A very distracting, stellar nucleas. Upon patience and aversion, the M88 turns somewhat oblate. No structure present save for that of its' pulled, elongated shape.


M89



Study: M89
Observer: jeff barbour & theAstronomer
Scope: 200mm F4 EQ Newt "Lightsop"
Eyepiece: 25mm Ultrascopic w 2x Shorty barlow
Date: 06/26/03
Time: 11:05
Transparency: 5.0-
Stability: 6-/10

This and other observations of the Coma-Virgo Galaxy Cluster were made at an altitude of 2500 feet in the Santa Cruz Mountains north of Boulder Creek, CA. All studies were in descent - well outside the skies middle third but still well above the western horizon. All of Leo was visible throughout this series and there was absolutely no moon. I would locate each galaxy in turn while theAstronomer took notes, then ~T would give some impressions and I would take notes.

Description:

M89 - (11:05) Large, diffuse. One field due north, approximately 1 degree away from the last study. Confirmed. Tilted spiral. Large with a bright nucleas. So far, the largest of the studies. Oriented N/S witht the eastern frontier more defined. Centered between 10th magnitude stars. Spiral arm to the N/NW. (~T: Tilted spiral! Definately the largest yet. A condensed spiral arm (ok, jeff... flaring) to N/NW.

REBOOT:

June 19, 2003
Start Time: 10:15 pm EST
Stop Time: 12:20 am EST
Scope: 12.5" Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Location: South Field, Backyard, OH (unobstructed southern skyline from east to west)
Sky: Easy 5.5 to 6 ULM - Stability 8
Temperature: 51 degrees

M89 - Direct. Bright core region. Appears almost spiral-like at first glance, but the my sources say elliptical.

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Messiers 90 through 99...




M90



Study: M90
Observer: jeff barbour & theAstronomer
Scope: 200mm F4 EQ Newt "Lightsop"
Eyepiece: 25mm Ultrascopic w 2x Shorty barlow
Date: 06/26/03
Time: 11:25
Transparency: 5.0-
Stability: 6-/10

This and other observations of the Coma-Virgo Galaxy Cluster were made at an altitude of 2500 feet in the Santa Cruz Mountains north of Boulder Creek, CA. All studies were in descent - well outside the skies middle third but still well above the western horizon. All of Leo was visible throughout this series and there was absolutely no moon. I would locate each galaxy in turn while theAstronomer took notes, then ~T would give some impressions and I would take notes.

Description:

M90 - (11:25) Tilted-spiral. Stellar core seems immersed. An extended spiral N/S oriented. Large and more developed toward south. The eastern frontier more defined. Requires slight aversion to make out structure. Small companion to north approximately 6 arc minutes away, with a stellar core. (~T: A stitled spiral with a star point and extended N/S orientation. At this point our notes are also covered with excited field sketches as we point out to each other what is quite probably barred spiral structure. The beauty presentation is the actual arms themselves and how the relate to the galaxy's structure.)

REBOOT:

June 19, 2003
Start Time: 10:15 pm EST
Stop Time: 12:20 am EST
Scope: 12.5" Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Location: South Field, Backyard, OH (unobstructed southern skyline from east to west)
Sky: Easy 5.5 to 6 ULM - Stability 8
Temperature: 51 degrees

M90 - Oh, yeah!! Beautiful bright nucleas and easily observable spiral structure. Quite large and slightly pulled in shape. Very evident dark dustlanes upon aversion. Very nice.


M91



Study: M91
Observer: jeff barbour & theAstronomer
Scope: 200mm F4 EQ Newt "Lightsop"
Eyepiece: 25mm Ultrascopic w 2x Shorty barlow
Date: 06/26/03
Time: 11:20
Transparency: 5.0-
Stability: 6-/10

This and other observations of the Coma-Virgo Galaxy Cluster were made at an altitude of 2500 feet in the Santa Cruz Mountains north of Boulder Creek, CA. All studies were in descent - well outside the skies middle third but still well above the western horizon. All of Leo was visible throughout this series and there was absolutely no moon. I would locate each galaxy in turn while theAstronomer took notes, then ~T would give some impressions and I would take notes.

Description:

M91 - (11:20) Stellar core held direct. No real central region but flares to the west. High surface brightness. Possible faint companion with a star-like core to east/northeast. Possibly 10 arc minutes. (~T: Very diffuse, a mid-sized galaxy. Stellar core on movement. Bluish face-on spiral. More structure to the N/W. Again, hazy notes - but the gist of it is that we confirmed each other's sightings and positions of companion galaxies.)

REBOOT:

June 19, 2003
Start Time: 10:15 pm EST
Stop Time: 12:20 am EST
Scope: 12.5" Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Location: South Field, Backyard, OH (unobstructed southern skyline from east to west)
Sky: Easy 5.5 to 6 ULM - Stability 8
Temperature: 51 degrees

M91 - At first appears as an elongated structure to direct vision. Patience and aversion reveal this to be a barred galaxy! The thin central region is evenly lighted and haloed by galactic material in an almost nebula-like manner.


M92



July 16, 2003
Begin Time: 10:15 pm EST End Time: 12:00
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Seeing: 5.5 easy Stability: 7/10

M92 - At roughly one third the size of M13, the M92 presents a very powerful concentrated presence with a distinct core at lowe magnification. The 12.3mm eyepiece shows a tightly compacted center, and although brighter stars show against the core, I cannot resolve it completely in my opinion. A noticable straight chain cuts across one edge, and the entire globular cluster stays concentrated until it reaches its' boundaries, then shatters into a finer field of stars.


M93



July 16, 2003
Begin Time: 10:15 pm EST End Time: 12:00
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Seeing: 5.5 easy Stability: 7/10

M92 - At roughly one third the size of M13, the M92 presents a very powerful concentrated presence with a distinct core at lowe magnification. The 12.3mm eyepiece shows a tightly compacted center, and although brighter stars show against the core, I cannot resolve it completely in my opinion. A noticable straight chain cuts across one edge, and the entire globular cluster stays concentrated until it reaches its' boundaries, then shatters into a finer field of stars.


M94



Date: February 28, 2004
Time: 1:35 a.m. EST
Scope: 12.5 Meade
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade, 12.3mm ED Epic
Sky: 5.5 ULM Stability: 8/10 Temp: 36F

M94 - At low power it is very bright, round, has an intense nucleus and resides in a stellar field. At higher power, the M94 changes considerably in appearance. The central portion now becomes very bright and compact... There is an almost mottled annular appearance to the structure around it. About two thirds of the way out from the nucleus, the whole thing just goes diffuse and looks almost haloed.... Like it is surrounded by a mist or fog. There is a double to the southeast, and a fine chain of stars there as well.


M95



January 20, 2004
Scope: 12.5 Meade
Eyepieces: 32mm Televue, 26mm Meade, 12.3mm ED Epic
Sky: 5.5 Clarity: Excellent
Condtions: Very stable Temperature: 10
Time: 11: 10 pm EST

M95 - Quite bright and easily caught at 26mm, this smallish galaxy immediately shows a strange looking core area and an echoed, round structure in a stellar field. Upon closer examination with the 12.3mm eyepiece, it is possible to see a bright, almost stellar nucleas and thick accompanying concentration that signifies barred spiral structure. The whole thing seems encased in a nebulosity that strengthens out the outlying perimeters, giving it a "haloed" appearance. Continued patience and aversion shows more dusty, wispy areas... But nothing that signifies arm structure.


M96



January 20, 2004
Scope: 12.5 Meade
Eyepieces: 32mm Televue, 26mm Meade, 12.3mm ED Epic
Sky: 5.5 Clarity: Excellent
Condtions: Very stable Temperature: 10
Time: 11: 25 pm EST

M96 - Also a very bright galaxy, easily caught at low power. At this magnification, the M96 show a very distinct concentration toward the central hub. Upping the power does little to reveal more structure, only improves the view! It is very definately ovid, a tilted spiral to our perspective... With a bright and highly concentrated core region. No dustlanes or arm structure present.


M97



February 19, 2003
Time: 9:45 pm EST
Seeing: 6 7/10
Telescope: 4.5 Celestron
Eyepiece: 26mm Meade
12.3mm ED Epic

Comments: I find the M97 a difficult study with limited aperature. Using low power to locate, the "Owl" nebula presents itself as a small, diffuse disk of nebula. Even power cannot reveal what I know to be there! But all in all, it's a nice little nebula that bends more toward the grey/green end of the spectrum and contains a patchiness about it.

Will return with 12.5 as it climbs above Polaris.


M98



Study: M98
Observer: jeff barbour & theAstronomer
Scope: 200mm F4 EQ Newt "Lightsop"
Eyepiece: 25mm Ultrascopic w 2x Shorty barlow
Date: 06/26/03
Time: 10:10
Transparency: 5.0-
Stability: 6-/10

This and the following observations of the Coma-Virgo Galaxy Cluster were made at an altitude of 2500 feet in the Santa Cruz Mountains north of Boulder Creek, CA. All studies were in descent - well outside the skies middle third but still well above the western horizon. All of Leo was visible throughout this series and there was absolutely no moon. I would locate each galaxy in turn while theAstronomer took notes, then ~T would give some impressions and I would take notes.

Description:

M98 - (10:10) Both 6 Comae and M98 present themselves in the same field. Subtle edge-on, stellar core on movement and a condensed nucleac structure. Some spiral extensions in evidence. SE/NW orientation. The western edge is somewhat brighter. A "pyramid" star structure to the south. (~T: Large, diffuse, some central condensation with a stellar point on aversion.)

REBOOT:

June 19, 2003
Scope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 25mm Meade Series IV and 12.3mm ED Epic
Location: South Field, Backyard, OH (unobstructed skyline from east to west)
Sky: Easy 5.5 to 6 ULM - Stability 8
Temperature: 51 degrees
Start Time: 10:15 pm EST
End Time: 12:20 a.m.

M98 - Edge-on beauty. Very thin with a slight central bulge that appears more concentrated than stellar. No dark central dustlane present.


M99



Study: M99
Observer: jeff barbour & theAstronomer
Scope: 200mm F4 EQ Newt "Lightsop"
Eyepiece: 25mm Ultrascopic w 2x Shorty barlow
Date: 06/26/03
Time: 11:40
Transparency: 5.0-
Stability: 6-/10

This and other observations of the Coma-Virgo Galaxy Cluster were made at an altitude of 2500 feet in the Santa Cruz Mountains north of Boulder Creek, CA. All studies were in descent - well outside the skies middle third but still well above the western horizon. All of Leo was visible throughout this series and there was absolutely no moon. I would locate each galaxy in turn while theAstronomer took notes, then ~T would give some impressions and I would take notes.

Description:

M99 - (11:40) Barrred, face-on and upon aversion a stellar core. Oriented SW/NE. Expanding mantle that flares in all directions. A 10th magnitude star approximately 8 arc minutes to the west. Here we have lots of potential companions in the same field. These are several distance NGC galaxies within in approximately 1/2 degree of area. (~T: Easy, direct, with a stellar core. A very "haloed" structure. To me this halo concentrates to the south and southwest, giving every indication of a grand spiral arm. Again, we tend to confirm each other's relative positions of companion galaxies, but our point tonight is to study the Messiers so we let it go at that.)

REBOOT:

June 19, 2003
Start Time: 10:15 pm EST
Stop Time: 12:20 am EST
Scope: 12.5" Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Location: South Field, Backyard, OH (unobstructed southern skyline from east to west)
Sky: Easy 5.5 to 6 ULM - Stability 8
Temperature: 51 degrees
(field around 6 Comae)

M99 - Easily held direct. Face-on spiral galaxy with concentrated nucleas and faded, yet well defined spiral arms.

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Messiers 100 through 110...




M100



Study: M100
Observer: jeff barbour & theAstronomer
Scope: 200mm F4 EQ Newt "Lightsop"
Eyepiece: 25mm Ultrascopic w 2x Shorty barlow
Date: 06/26/03
Time: 10:20
Transparency: 5.0-
Stability: 6-/10

This and the following observations of the Coma-Virgo Galaxy Cluster were made at an altitude of 2500 feet in the Santa Cruz Mountains north of Boulder Creek, CA. All studies were in descent - well outside the skies middle third but still well above the western horizon. All of Leo was visible throughout this series and there was absolutely no moon. I would locate each galaxy in turn while theAstronomer took notes, then ~T would give some impressions and I would take notes.

Description:

M100 - (10:20) Brighter than the M99. Stellar core. More defined to the N/NE - Spiral structure. W/NW to E/SE orientation. Face-on. Spiral arm detected to S/W. (companion detected to E/NE some 12 arc minutes away.) (~T: Face-on spiral. Large and diffuse. Concentrated core region. Arm detected to the NW. Offset stellar nucleas. To the east and south, two 10th magnitude stars trail along. Stellar nucleas also present and curiously offset. A supernova candidate The companion I see appears much like a UGC galaxy signature.)

REBOOT:

June 19, 2003
Start Time: 10:15 pm EST
Stop Time: 12:20 am EST
Scope: 12.5" Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV, 12.3mm ED Epic
Location: South Field, Backyard, OH (unobstructed southern
skyline from east to west)
Sky: Easy 5.5 to 6 ULM - Stability 8
Temperature: 51 degrees

M100 - Very large and easily held direct. Face-on spiral with an intense stellar core. Averted vision calls up two beautiful sweeping arms.


M101



Date: 01-25-04
Telescope: 12.5 Meade
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade, 12.3mm ED Epic
Sky: 5.0 (at zenith) Stability: Fair
Transparency: Fair Temperature: 4
Time: 12:15 a.m.

M101 - Marker? Mizar and Alcore. Ready to hop? Then let's rock...

M101 has a very low surface brightness, but it absolutely fills the 26mm eyepiece. With a very definate, very bright concentration toward the nucleas. Considerably larger than the M81, its' face-on presentation rivals many other such spirals I have seen. Upon examination, the core area looks to be slightly ovid in structure, and although there isn't a deep, dark dustlane, there is most notably two significant arms structures - One tight to the core and one that spins wider off the elongated edge. Rather than spiral outward similar to the M51, the M101 does its outward turn in large swatches. Patience and aversion brings up many bright areas inside these "swatches" that are quite probably distant star clusters or nebulous regions. Very, very fine!

Here I remain stumped, for I know the accepted designation of the M102 is the NGC5866. Of course, as you know, all Messier objects also have an NGC classification... Like M101, which is NGC5457. When I study, I am quite serious and I wanted to complete the Messiers in accordance with all the AL guidelines. Long beforehand, I had already made my starhop plan and consulted with another AlCor representative, because Uranometria does not designate the NGC5866 to be M102. For all intents and purposes, the NGC5866 it is!


M102



Date: 01-25-04
Telescope: 12.5 Meade
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade, 12.3mm ED Epic
Sky: 5.0 (at zenith) Stability: Fair
Transparency: Fair Temperature: 4
Time: 12:40 a.m.

M102 (NGC5866) - Dude? It's small. In the 26mm eyepiece, it is not so much a problem to locate, for it is sufficiently bright, but it is far smaller than what I was expecting. Let's just say... Not even half the size of M82? (more like a third, but i'm not using a microfila... micro... ah, heck! i ain't measuring it.) The NGC5866 presents an evenly lighted, possibly considered to be eliptical structure. Risking frostbite, (yeah, rite... like i was even noticing. ;) I put the 12.3mm in for further study. Caught in a superb stellar field, the NGC5866 becomes almost "eye" shaped with a bright core. As I was patiently holding some of the perimeter stars and waiting for more structure to appear, I caught a quick glimpse of what may have been a dark dustlane that's definately a bit "off center". Trying to call it back by concentrating on the long chain of stars that runs beside it proves fruitless. I guess a glimpse is all I'm going to get.


M103



Date: 01-26-03
Time: 7:48 pm EST
Scope: 114mm Celestron
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade IV
12.3 ED Epic
Seeing: 5.5 7/10

Comment: At low power the M103 is a sparkling cloud of "on the edge" resolvability. Two notably bright stars are revealed at either edge - one a distinct orange in color. At 12.3mm, resolvability begins and shows the field to be of even magnitudes of blue white stars.

REBOOT:

Date: August 30/31, 2003
Telescope: 12.5 Meade Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade Series IV and 12.3mm ED Epic
Sky: 5.0 ZLM Stability 6/10
Transparency: Good
Temperature: 60
Begin Time: 11:30 pm EST
End Time: 12:30 am EST

M103 - Very nice at 26mm, sparse appearing. Much better with the 12.3mm wide field! There's an excellent red star situated directly in the center of this loose, multi-magnitude open cluster. Also sheer beauty is the blue/white double to the leading side! Surprisingly more populated than at first glance, the M103 definately takes on a better appearance with magnification and deserves some study.


M104



Study: M104
Observer: jeff barbour & theAstronomer
Scope: 200mm F4 EQ Newt "Lightsop"
Eyepiece: 25mm Ultrascopic + 12.3mm ED-2 using 2x Shorty barlow
Date: 06/29/03
Time: 10:20 PST
Transparency: 5.0-
Stability: 7/10

This observation was made at an altitude of 2500 feet in the Santa Cruz Mountains north of Boulder Creek, CA. All studies were in descent. There was absolutely no moon. I would locate each study in turn while theAstronomer took notes, then ~T would give some impressions and I would take them down.

Description:

M104 - (10:20 PDST) Pure edge-on. Stellar core and brilliant spiral extensions. Stretches perhaps 10 arc minutes. Oriented E/W and haloed. Accompanied by a swatch of 8 magnitude stars curving to the south. Power up? Dust lanes suspected. Souther frontier concentrates. Also takes magnification well. Eye movement causes extensions to jump outward visibly.

(Hey, now... I could never tire of looking at this particular galaxy in any aperature. First impulse is that outstanding core region which is quickly overshadowed by that laid back "edge-on" that I so admire. So I'm getting away from the notes that Jeff kept for me on my spoken obervations... Shoot me. There's nothing wrong with my memory... Just yet. ;) To me? I dig this particular galaxy's "see thru" core qualities. The dark dustlane at smaller aperature is a trick that is easily learned. It can, and does show the most widely at the extensions. While concentrating on these extensions, what happens is that the nucleas will seem to "double" just inside the conscious view of aversion... Now don't look, daggone it!! Just go eye easy and keep your vision at the outside. Aaaah... Yep. There it is. A noticable division that tends to run just a bit more toward the south of the region. Now that you've seen it? Look directly at it. Still there, huh? Kewl!!! Now watch what happens to the outer structure while you're playing with the inner dustlane... I can only smile here as I watch that silver signature of a high-surface brightness galaxy walk out 1/3 of the field of view at 115X. Rock on, M104... You are one of my favourites.


M105



February 19, 2003
Time: 9:50 pm EST
Seeing: 6 7/10
Telescope: 4.5 Celestron
Eyepiece: 26mm Meade
9mm Meade

Comments: This galaxy presents itself to limited aperature as nothing more than a slight, fuzzy egg at low power. Evenly lighted, no nucleus structure, and requires aversion. High power does nothing more to improve this rather bland ellipitcal.

Will revisit with the dob at a future date.


M105



February 6, 2003
Time: 2:30 am EST
Seeing: 6.5 8/10
Scope: 12.5 Meade dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade
9mm Meade

Comments: After a bit of a hunt round, I found the M106 at last. With the 26mm it gave me a stellar nucleus with direct vision, and diffuse, elongated structure with a star at the edge upon aversion.

Power up...

With the 9mm, the stellar core remains... But appears extended! Curious, I continue to study and realize that I have another barred spiral here! While trying to concentrate, I move the field just a bit too much and see another very small, undefined galaxy as well! Trying hard not to smile... (seems i can't swing a dead cat by the tail tonight and NOT hit galaxies) I return back to my M106 study and concentrate. The best I can do for now is to see elongation down the center of this somewhat uneven appearing galaxy and a very diffuse halo for structure.

Nice catch, Mr. Messier!


M107



Date: September 28, 2003
Scope: Meade 12.5" Starfinder Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm and 9mm Meade Series IV
Seeing: 5.0
Stability: fair
Start Time: 8:20 pm EST
End Time: 11:30 pm EST
Temperature: 48

M107 - Dropping south just a bit from Zeta Ophiuchus, the M107 at low power first appears like any other unremarkable small globular. Surprisingly bright, the M107 performs best at 9mm. What appears to be near total resolution is gently replaced with a bit of wonder as you realize this is a core shifted globular cluster. There is definately a higher concentration of stars to the eastern edge of the core region and it shifts to the look of "density" to the west. Again, this one appears rather loose instead of concentrated, but for its' small size is remarkably bright for low sky position.


M108



February 6, 2003
Time: 1:30 am EST
Seeing: 6.5 8/10
Scope: 12.5 Meade Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade
9mm Meade

Comments: Hey, hey... I got busy messing around with those little NGC galaxies in Leo! But I'm back, eh?

At low power, the M108 says "take me edge-on, baby..." Elongated and somewhat diffuse, there appears to be several core regions! Let's power up and see "why"...

At 9mm, the M108 becomes broken, mottled, and most uneven. Again, we have an irregular galaxy structure. Edged in stars, it seems to be partioned into quarters with a dark dustlane that runs along the long axis. Here we have a different spectral signature, for unlike the M82, this one contains no silver - just bone white.


M109



February 6, 2003
Time: 1:50 a.m. EST
Seeing: 6.5 8/10
Scope: 12.5 Meade Dobsonian
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade
9mm Meade

Comments: Just a touch right of Phecda, the M109 is a easy capture for the dob. At 26mm, I see a very bright, direct nucleus and an elongation in structure toward the stars at either edge. Let's mag up...

At 9mm, the core turns stellar. What appeared to be an elongation is now a concentration of a central bar. The rest of the body of the galaxy is very diffuse, and these "arms" halo that central barred structure. The arms are faint and elongated... But they are most definately "there."

(i'll be back... )


M110



Date: 01-21-03
Seeing: 6.5 6/10
Scope: Orion SVD8
Eyepieces: 26mm Meade IV
12.3mm ED Epic
Time: 8:00 pm EST

Comments: Beautiful slim struture. Excellent brightness with this scope! Elongated with bright nucleas.

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And so this study has ended, eh? Not hardly. I find the Messiers to be some of the most beautiful and deeply inspiring objects in the sky. Here you will find a few "no entry" markers... And if you know me, you'll know that it is not because I haven't observed them, but because I am following the guidelines for the Astronomy League Messier Certificate. Will I earn it? I already have. Requirements are that you only view 70 out of 110 and I think I've got that covered! But... Let's just say it is for my own personal reasons that I will not submit this until I re-observed all 110 again.

Perhaps in the years to come I will also add more sketches to this page... And perhaps after it is updated? It will stay as it is. (i can only bore you so much!) Regardless of what the future brings, this studies represent a significant portion of my astronomy favourites and it is my hope that you enjoy them as well!!

Ya'll come back now... Here? ;)







"Cuz' I don't need to walk around in circles... Walk around in circles... Walk around in...."