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Thread: Messier 30 Certificate Report - Messier Meanderings

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    Default Messier 30 Certificate Report - Messier Meanderings



    I thought that I would give this a try and see how it goes. Will start with the 80x350mm refractor Orion GoScope and see how far this will take me. Simple alt/az hand driven navigation. It is on a tilt tripod and will use the stock accessories. Beginner(E-Series 10/20mm) EPs and their RDF. Live in what looks to be an orange/yellow rural area about 30 miles south of San Jose (1M pop.) with about 80K folks within 15 miles. Viewing is best N-E-S. Use 15x63 binoculars as my spotting scope and use those for the point/shoot technique to get the RDF close. Disclaimer - Nothing you read here is original. Had almost no knowledge 13 mo. ago and have learned everything from reading primarily Harrington and French as well as this forum.

    Went out 1/30/13 from 6:30 to 9:45. Use a micro recorder and dictate while I'm observing. Had a chance to edit some of the notes to get started and will post the others if the format looks OK to all. Was a pleasant evening - clear and probably in the mid/hi 40s by the end. Naked eye, couldn't see the 4th corner of UMi(5th) but could see Asellus Borealis(4.6) to the E.

    1 - M42 Orion Nebula Proverbial mid star of Orion's sword. From my vantage point, can tell with just eyes that it is "different". At 35x, the 3 stars of Theta 2 stood out well. Trapezium was hard to resolve. Fish's Mouth looked different but not clearly defined. Could appreciate the start of the arms of the nebula but it didn't close the circle. Center was darker.

    2 - M43 Comes as a pair. Could appreciate the dark lane separating it from M42. Central bright star - some minimal nebulosity. Have seen this at dusk at other times and the bright cores of the two different objects are quite apparent.

    3 - M45 Pleiades/Seven Sisters/Subaru Went to this twice. Early on it was at the zenith and used the 15x63s. Aside from the dipper look, I like the "arms" that come away from Alcyone. By the end it had moved enough W that I could use the scope. At 17.5 and 35x, Alcyone shows four stars. The 3 dimmer stars form a very precise triangle.

    4 - M41 Have read that some call this the Little Beehive. I first found this by sliding down the spine from Sirius to Wezen. There is an inverted triangle of stars that leads you right to it. About 20 bright stars with what looked like a central yellow star. Brighter blue star at the periphery.

    Will close for now - Thanks
    dmbryan, tomwall, samgray1 and 3 others like this.
    pb2au

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  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to pb2au For This Useful Post:

    dmbryan (02-03-2013),tomwall (02-02-2013)

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    Default Re: Messier 30 Certificate Report - Messier Meanderings

    Good stuff, Pb2au.
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    Default Re: Messier 30 Certificate Report - Messier Meanderings

    Good joob and you are off to a good start. I like the recorder idea too. Beats trying to write in the dark.
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    Default Re: Messier 30 Certificate Report - Messier Meanderings

    Thanks for the report. Looks like you have pretty dark skies, too.
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    Default Re: Messier 30 Certificate Report - Messier Meanderings

    Hello pb2au. A very nice report from you, and well organized. I looks like you got to see several nice objects. Keep us posted on your next outing. Thanks for the report, and best wishes on clear skies.
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    Default Re: Messier 30 Certificate Report - Messier Meanderings

    Thanks for the excellent report. You do an exceptional job of describing what you see.

    Looking forward to your next report...
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    Default Re: Messier 30 Certificate Report - Messier Meanderings

    Appreciate the thoughts. Clouded up tonight so I'll post a few more notes from the other night. Do about 75% of my observing with the 15x63s, so most of the observations at 17.5x are at binocular level in terms of detail. Will often describe star hopping tips I've picked up. Can see the benefit of the exercise as it makes me go back after the session to fill in star names, mag and official constellation designations as needed.

    1/30/13 6:30 to 9:45

    5 - M38 This starts a nice progression of OCs in Auriga. Begins with asterisms. At the south end, the Flying Minnow shows as a visual blur which points to the Cheshire Cat (with a tip of the hat to Ben Cacace). M38 makes up the R cheek. At 17.5x, I see 8-10 brighter stars with a background of star dust.

    6 - M36 Move down from M38 and continue below the smile past two bright stars and you come to the cluster. Looks a little brighter to me than 38. I count 6 brighter stars at the core with a blush background.

    7 - M37 I find this about 1.5 FOV below 36 when seen at 17.5x. Others describe it as their favorite of the group but to me the stars are all fairly uniform in brightness. The allure to me is the overall configuration of the 3 together.

    8 - M35 I enjoy this view more than the other three. The 3 stars for the L foot of Gemini ending in 1 Geminorum is a visual for me when it is the E. Put the RDF on it and with just a small move you're there. A dozen or so central stars of some brightness with a single brighter star at the periphery.

    9 - M50 Take a line from Sirius to Procyon for the angle. Gauge the FOV from Sirius to the nose (theta) and then move the same distance towards Procyon and it should be there. At 35x, I see 12-15 stars that form the core at 8-9 mag according to the charts. Sprinkling of background stars of far lesser mag.

    Thanks
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    Default Re: Messier 30 Certificate Report - Messier Meanderings

    Keep at it! With just a bit of work, the M30 can definitely be done from the SF Bay Area.
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    Default Re: Messier 30 Certificate Report - Messier Meanderings

    Cloudy again this AM, so will finish up the notes from the other night and see what the next few days bring.

    1/30/13 6:30 to 9:45

    10 - M44 Beehive/Praesape - Asellus Borealis/Australis are visual when in the E. I place the RDF just a bit to the S and it is in the FOV at 17.5x. I see 30-40 bright stars that take up most of the body. Chart puts these at 6-7 mag. Nice sight in that it fills the field. Prefer this in the binoculars. First time I saw this in the 5", it was unimpressive as it put me right in the middle of it. A "can't see the forest for the trees" moment.

    11 - M67 Many ways to get here. I like to point out the line from Procyon to Regulus. Acubens is the middle of three brighter stars that range from 3.5 to 4.25 mag. Follow the short curve from Acubens to 60 Cnc and it sits in a field of lesser stars. See 3-4 brighter stars with a blush of fainter stars as the background.

    12 - M48 This is the 3rd object where I use Procyon as a guide. Here I use the line from Procyon to Alphard. Moving along this line from Procyon there is a large equilateral triangle that then leads to what looks to me as a T-handle asterism. The long end dog-legs right into the cluster. This is a fairly large cluster of 20 or so brighter stars. Tends to fan out, so are only limited to where you want to draw it's boundary.

    13/14 - M81&82 At 17.5x, objects and the final guidepost fit in the same FOV. I found these two hard to "get" the 1st time but after many visits it is a point/shoot find now. With a dark sky it can be appreciated with the binoculars. The scenic route extends the Phecda - Dubhe line half again to what looks to me as the line drawing of seagull wings. I go off the curve of the N wing and move up (again, bins/refractor). I recognize 3 groups of stars the 2nd of which is an inverted triangle. This leads to a small "check-mark" of stars and the two sit right there. Quick way is put the RDF on 24 UMa and with a small scan the check-mark and objects are there. The observation is fairly plain. At 17.5x, M81 is a circular smudge and 82 is a vertical one. At 35x, I can appreciate a central core on 81 but not 82. The amazement comes having two galaxies in the same FOV.

    Thanks again
    Last edited by pb2au; 02-03-2013 at 03:40 PM. Reason: punctuation
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    Default Re: Messier 30 Certificate Report - Messier Meanderings

    Feb 8; 7:40 - 9:15 PM. Rain the last 2 days, but cleared up nicely this evening. Same set-up with the 80x350mm refractor. Sky was 5 mag to the E.

    15 - M47 Follow the Mirzam(foreleg) to Sirius line for 2 FOV from Sirius. Is a loose cluster of 15 or so brighter stars that look subdivided into 3-4 smaller groups. Diamond dust background.

    16 - M46 Just 4-5 brighter stars set in a fairly subdued blush of stars. Not very impressive with this small scope. At low power is very near 47.

    17 - M93 Start at Aludra and move E to a double star which I believe is xi Pup. This is a visual for me. Put the RDF on it and the cluster is just 2 stars up. Blush of stars at 17.5x and shows 8-10 brighter stars at 35x.

    18 - M103 Moved over to Cassiopeia which is a bit over the light dome to the NW. The distinctive mark here is that it looks a bit oblong to me and is my main clue. At 35x, has a bright star at either end with another one in the middle. Sprinkling of smaller points of light with AV.

    19 - M52 Take the Schedar to Caph line again the same distance. The bright star here is 4 Cas but my marker is the 6 star mini Orion shield just behind it. The cluster is right next to 4 Cas. Not very distinctive with 3 or so brighter stars with a dimmer background - why I like the little shield.

    20 - M34 Sits about 40% of the way from Algol to Almach and just a little off line to the north. Put the RDF in the area and scan just a bit to find it. Like this one a lot. Described by some as having a sunflower look and it fits. About 8-10 stars as the center and then a ring of surrounding stars. Didn't see the "stem" tonight as I have in the past as it too was drifting over the LP.

    21 - M31 Since I was in the area took a peek at the Andromeda Galaxy to finish things up. Was best earlier in the year when it was in the E, but suffers tonight from the light as well. Could only make out its center glow with minimal extension. No chance for 34 or 110 - will have to wait until it comes around again.

    Finished up with the binoculars for a tour of the Winter Circle, Pleiades, Double Cluster and Kemble's Cascade.

    Thanks
    pb2au

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