Tonight is a beautiful evening. Very clear, though of course the
glow from Portland is a bit bright. Because there isn't much for the
light to bounce off of, it's relatively low this evening. Only 30
degrees instead of 45. The air is dry and the tempature is warm. I'm in
my t-shirt observing. There is a nice breeze and as my eyes are
adjusting more and more, the milky way is becoming more visible. Just
hints of the divisiions between the arms.
An easy find though I haven't seen it since last year. Stars resolve
straight to the core at 300 power. I absolutely LOVE the helical fine
focuser. It makes planetary and globular cluster viewing much nicer.
Unlike M15, this globular has a large and diffused nucleus. I can see
stars resolving to the core again tonight at 300x and though the
overall brightness is much dimmer than M15 which is in a blacker part
of the sky. The globular cluster looks awesome.
M51 - Supernova In Spiral Arm
In looking for the supernova, I can definitely see what looks like a
bright star just below and to the right of the nucleus. It's the outer
left arm in the eyepiece. At 300 power I can look directly at the
bright spot. The arms are so faint it's a bit hard to tell if the
supernova is in the outer arm, the inner arm, or the nucleus. I think
I'm seeing it in the outer arm.
The ring nebula looks like a neon light with the OIII filter. I pushed
the scope to 600 power on this, but it began to loose too much light
and lose much of it's brilliance. At 300 power it was perfect. At 150
it was extremely bright with the filter on.
It's amazing how the OIII filter works on the veil. It's practically
invisible without the filter, but with it, you can see the detail in
the twists and the fingers. I can't wait to see this object in a
dark sky with this filter.
7.9 magnitude. Couldn't see it at all in the glow of Portland.
Ophiuchus is in the glow of Portland so I don't
get to see these very often and didn't actually have their locations
memorized. I used Starry Night Pro to find them. I was surprised to see
how close they were to each other. M10 resolved less stars and M12
which wasn't saying much. Both of these objects were very washed out.
Very faint. Only a few stars resolving. About the same size as M10, perhaps a bit bigger.
No resolution at all. This is the first glob I've seen in a while that
just looks like a comet. A big comet, but not a globular cluster for
I can see the galaxy stretching past my field ov fiew. With M32 and
M110 all in the same wide field, but still not wide enough to house the
entire monster galaxy. Also there were no dust lanes
distinguishable in the galaxy tonight.
Relatively bright with many stars resolving at high power. I was gettting tired so I didn't spend much time here.
a way to end the observation session. M13 is so spectacular. At 300x it
nearly fills the eyepiece. This object alone makes me want to get a 5mm
Nagler and a Paracorr.
All in all it was a wonderful session. It almost makes up for last weekend's star party bust!