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Thread: Messier 70 Certificate Report Messier Meanderings II

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    Default Messier 70 Certificate Report Messier Meanderings II



    Moving on to Phase II. Will continue for now with the 15x63s and the Orion 80x350mm GoScope refractor - 10/20mm beginner(E - Series) EPs and RDF. Tilt tripod and hand driven altaz navigation. Finished the M 30 Cert on 2/11/13 and had 4 additional objects with which I'll start the M 70 trek.

    Feb 11; 10:15 - 11:30 PM. Was a clear, cool evening and could see the 4th corner of the Little Dipper(5th mag) which was better than I usually have.

    31 - M53 Dim globular in Com. Diadem is a visual(4.3). Marker star field is to the N with a small triangle and a string of 3 stars. 53 sits N of Diadem and below the field. Is a faint pulsing object at 15x. At 35x, it remains just a small dim non-stellar round object with no central brightness appreciated.

    32 - M64 Black-eye Galaxy in Com. Star hop Diadem to 36 Com to 35 Com. On way to 35, pass a marker field of 5-6 stars. 64 is just N of 35. At 35x, shows a dim oval. With time a central core is seen. Aperture too small for detail.

    33/34 M65/66 Another galaxy combo-Leo Triplet minus NGC 3628(which I couldn't see). In the tail, run the Zosma-Chertan-73 Leo line. Move to the 7th mag star just to the N of 73. All are in the same FOV. M66 is the brighter of the two gray smudges. Also had an easily seen core where I had to wait a bit to see the one in 65.

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    Default Re: Messier 70 Certificate Report Messier Meanderings II

    Went for another morning binocular run. Surprised that it was clear so went out with the 15x63s.

    Feb 18; 3:50 - 4:50 AM. Clear with a 4.5 visual sky.

    35 - M4 GC in Scorpius. Makes the apex of a shallow triangle with Antares and sigma as the base. Dim, uniform, round glow with a minimal central brightness. Very reproducible in a dark sky.

    36 - M80 Dimmer GC in Sco. Keep moving up the ladder from sigma to omicron. Move up 1 bright star(7.5) and 80 sits just above that. Is less intense than 4. Simple round faint glow. Essentially a position find.

    37 - M10 Ophiuchus globular. Start at the bend(zeta) in the line near Sco. Move up to 23 to 30 on the charts. 10 sits right next to 30. Faint circular object that looks fairly uniform to me. No graininess to it.

    38 - M12 Just W of 10. Essentially the same look as well. Both suffer from the GC look in binoculars which I find limiting.

    39 - M107 Sits just S of zeta Oph. Interesting thing here to me is the field in which it sits. Rectangle with a central star is a good marker. A GC of a uniform glow with a minimal center. The L side of the rectangle can also be looked at as a triangle with the cluster sitting right there.

    40 - M29 Cygnus To my eye, this a a relatively small cluster of 2-3 brighter stars with a blush background thru the binoculars. But it sits in a spectacular setting. Sadr is the figurative heart of the Swan but is part of an actual heart shaped asterism. On the S side of the heart lies 29. Sadr, edge of the heart and 29 are all in the same FOV. Also sits in a very busy field.

    41 - M39 Very nice OC off the back end of the Swan behind and below Deneb. The cluster is looser and brighter than 29. Looks to me like 6-8 stars in a V-shaped pattern with a sparkling background. Trip there is interesting. Behind Deneb is an open triangle that points to a down trailing path of 5-6 stars that leads to 3 vertical stars that point right at the cluster.

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    Default Re: Messier 70 Certificate Report Messier Meanderings II

    Mar 1; 7:00 - 10:00 PM. Few thin clouds with a visual 4 sky.

    Visited many "friends" for fun with the XT8g/25mm EP(48x). Spent 8:45-9:30 specifically looking at M108/97 to compare the view in the 15x63s, 80x350mm refractor and the 8" reflector used in a star hopping mode. Chose these two as there is a nice path from Merak to follow along and the comparison as each plays a different role in how I view.

    42 - M108 Galaxy in UMa. In the binoculars, Merak, path and M97 area are all in the 3.7* FOV but no objects. In both scopes, I counted 7 stars in a wandering pathway that leads SE to a dark void that is filled by a dim oblong glow. No center, no characteristics. Best view @ 48x in the 8". Fun here was flipping between the refractor/reflector orientation to do the star hopping. At 48x, it is about 2 FOV from Merak.

    43 - M97 Planetary nebula in UMa. Allowing for the different orientations, I put 108 at the edge of the FOV and you see 3 stars of 7-8 mag that form the 3 sides of either a kite or a slightly off kilter square. M97 is the non-stellar dim fuzzy that fills that 4th corner. I look at it the same way as M78 in Orion. It fills an empty spot in the sky to complete an asterism of my own making. No "eyes" @ 48x last night.

    Both of these are star hopping stories for me as the end result is not a visual WOW. "The journey is the reward" quote from Steve Jobs fits here.

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    Default Re: Messier 70 Certificate Report Messier Meanderings II

    Thanks for the good report pb2au! Glad you could see M97 and M108. I found last night troubled by high clouds, which kept me from viewing any galaxies, though I tried. I did get a nice view of M3 though.
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    Default Re: Messier 70 Certificate Report Messier Meanderings II

    Mar 10; 5 - 6:15 AM. Very nice conditions - easy mag 5 sky, cloudless and 48*. Both M7 & M8 were visual finds. Planned last night to walk the M7 - M11 corridor and the weather didn't disappoint.

    44 - M7 Ptolemy's Cluster at the tail of Scorpius. Open bright cluster with 30+ easy stars, even in the binoculars. The center group is distinctive and prominent. Agree with others characterization as looking like back to back parentheses.

    45 - M6 About 1 FOV to the N/W of M7. Smaller and a bit dimmer. 6-7 dominant stars with a fainter background.

    46 - M22 Start at Kaus Borealis at the top of the teapot. Move E to a small cluster that looks like a reverse 7 and 22 is the next object. Billed as the rival to M13. With a small aperture and 35x, shows a dense bright center. With time, 3-4 bright stars show themselves. Cluster dims nicely as you move out.

    47 - M28 Small GC just N/W of Kaus Borealis. I see at it as the middle star of a Leo Minor look. Small and dim with a slightly brighter center.

    48 - M8 Very distinctive nebula in Sagitarrius. The lagoon was easily seen without a filter. At 35x, 2 bright stars anchor 1 side and 10 stars the opposite side.

    49 - M20 Trifid Nebula. Easily seen just above M8. Hint of a fuzziness to it but has 15 bright stars at 35x.

    50 - M21 Small OC right next to 20. Six dominant stars sit in a faint background.

    51 - M24 Highlight of the tour for me. Mu Sgr is a visual. This is the 2nd of 5 stars that form my wandering pathway to what is truly a cloud of stars. Easily 50+ stars before I stopped counting. Best perspective for me is in the 15x63s or the 20mm EP at 17.5x. More than that and it puts you in the middle of it.

    52 - M23 One FOV N/W of 24. At 35x, shows 15-20 dominant stars with the same number that are fainter.

    53 - M25 Move 1 FOV to the S/E of 24. All three of these are right in a line. About 12-15 stars that are central with a similar number in the background.

    54 - M18 OC just N of M24. At 35x, see 8 brighter stars. Fairly small but starts the string up to M16 and they are all easily run with the binoculars.

    55 - M17 Swan Nebula. Same FOV as 18. Nebula look. I couldn't talk myself into any shape today.

    56 - M16 Eagle Nebula. Diffuse nebula look with 4-5 bright stars. My key here is to keep the Hubble "Pillars of Creation" photo in my mind when viewing. Oddity is that it "lives" in Serpens.

    57 - M11 Wild Duck Cluster in Scutum. I like this position find as it sits at the end of what looks to me like the Nike Swoosh. Makes it an easy binocular find to describe to others. At these apertures, it looks more like a GC with little resolution. This is one object that really improves with the larger scopes as it opens up well.

    58 - M26 OC also in Scutum. Position find only at this level. Run the alpha to delta line. Points right to it at about 40% of the distance between the two. Billed as OC but also looks more GC.

    Dawn started to come up, so called it a morning.
    Thanks
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    Default Re: Messier 70 Certificate Report Messier Meanderings II

    That sounds like an intense session, so many objects in such a short time.

    I should get up early one of these days...
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    Default Re: Messier 70 Certificate Report Messier Meanderings II

    Was mainly a binocular tour that I've done a dozen or more times in the past prior to starting the Messier list. All the key markers were visible to the eye so moving to each set of objects was greatly facilitated. The asterism pointing to M11 is also naked eye visible in my area. This area is my favorite spot of the sky for the variety of objects in a relatively small area.
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    Default Re: Messier 70 Certificate Report Messier Meanderings II

    Mar 17; 1:00 - 5:45 AM. Time shifted sleep to give myself a long period before dawn. Mag 5 sky again. Spent a fair amount of time in the Virgo Cluster to begin to familiarize myself with the area. Will need a few more visits before the trip is smooth enough to report. Did have good results with several other objects.

    59 - M19 GC in Ophiuchus. Sits half way between tau Sco and theta Oph. There are 3 sets of double stars that curve slightly in a vertical manner. The cluster is next to the middle set. Small slightly oval smudge of light - no star resolution. Binocular visible.

    60 - M5 GC between Virgo and Serpens Caput. Both 109/110 Vir and the angled section of Serpens are visual. RDF in the middle with point/shoot style. Short scan finds the "flattened diamond" asterism. Cluster just above the upper star(5 Ser). Easily seen in binoculars with a bright center. Better with increasing aperture. The 8" shows great resolution of individual stars at the periphery. Linear streams visible.

    61 - M57 Ring Nebula in Lyra. Further refine the "half-way" between Sheliak/Sulafet tip. There are 2 vertical 8.5 mag stars that form the base of a triangle with the nebula the tip to the right(S). Visible in the 15x63s. Improves with aperture with the 8" showing the ring.

    62 - M92 Cousin of M13 in Hercules. Start 1/2 way between pi and eta. Move on a line to the N from two dim stars that goes past two brighter stars that leads to a nice star field, The star field contains a "V" set of stars that leads to the cluster. Binocular visual with a bright center. Resolves stars at the edges with the 8". Overall a little smaller and dimmer than M13.

    63 - M56 Seems like most things in this section are 1/2 way between objects. This GC lies between Albireo and Sulafet. Move up from Albireo with the next bright star 2 Cyg. Continue up to a slightly inverted "V". Cluster lies at the end of 1 limb. Very dim fuzzy object only. More of a position find.

    64 - M71 Small GC in Sagitta. Constellation dim but visual. RDF on gamma and back up to a 3 star cluster with 9 Sge as the anchor at a mag 6. Cluster and the 3 stars sit in the same FOV. Dim position spot in binoculars. At 35x just improves to a dim small object.

    65 - M27 Dumbbell Nebula in Vulpecula. Either up from gamma Sge or down from Albireo. Look for a diamond shaped set of stars that has double sets of stars at two of the corners. Nebula sits just below the single lower star(14 Vul). Easily seen in binoculars. Best I can do with the GoScope is a small grayish rectangle look.

    At the end took a few minutes to make a few binocular runs up and down the M7 to M11 corridor. Got my NASA email the night before, so finished up with the ISS fly over at 5:41. All-in-all a productive session.

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    Default Re: Messier 70 Certificate Report Messier Meanderings II

    You definitely seem well on your way to your Messier 70 list! it has been interesting reading through your observation notes and tips on how to locate the various objects. I look forward to reading more.

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    Default Re: Messier 70 Certificate Report Messier Meanderings II

    Nice work pb2au and an interesting read - makes me want to revisit the messiers i have sketched and put more notes down
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