Awesome information, links, entries from public (and non-public) viewing sessions, and other assorted astronomy information! CONTACT US AT RIVERDALEASTRONOMY@GMAIL.COM!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Another apology for not posting after events, and a recent observing log
Yeah, sorry. Here's the log:
Opened up the telescope around 8:30pm. Started off jumping around familiar objects.
M13 - Gorgeous as usual, holds up wonderfully to high magnification
M57 - Lovely, although I'm still trying to spot the 15th magnitude central star
Albireo - Best around 80x-120x mag, fantastic diffusion rings
M92 - nice globular in Hercules
Double cluster in Perseus - first time looking at this in the 16". Would be even awesomer with a super wide field eyepiece (NGC 869 & 994)
M31 - Andromeda, still need to see this under dark skies in binocs. Waiting to be more stunned.
M110 - Easy find above Andromeda
M32? - Where the hell are you....
M33 - NEW - VERY hard object to find, although I finally bagged it. Really just a smudge of faint light that moves with the background stars when the telescope is tapped. Became more convinced after reading others' reports. How on earth did Messier find this thing?
M34 - NEW - Nice bright open cluster in Perseus
M76 - NEW - Fun and bright planetary nebula, similar to Dumbbell Nebula, very distinct peanut shape
M103 - open cluster in cass, decent
M52 - fan shaped open cluster in cass
Tried for M101/102 - There is no reason why I should have had trouble with this, but hey, no luck
M56 - Pretty globular cluster in lyra
M27 - dumbbelll nebula, large and bright
M71 - globular in sagitta, easy to find as long as sagitta is visible
M29 - NEW - open cluster in cygnus. had to match this one up against some sketches to confirm. very sparse.
M39 - NEW - even more sparse than M29, but confirmed against a sketch. too bad i don't have a finder!
M2 - NEW - small globular cluster in aquarius
M45 - Plieades. It's getting dark enough (now that the moon has fully set) that I can make out at least six of the stars in the Plieades naked eye. It is said that Messier included this cluster in his catalog to round it out at 45 and for no real other reason. Anyway, telescope shows nebulosity. Nice.
M1 - NEW - Crab Nebula. I have a Chandra image of this wild nebula at my desk at work. Tough to make out any detail other than general shape in the scope.
M42 - Great Nebula in Orion - whoah. and this was when it was pretty low on the horizon. lots of crazy dust lanes, tons of detail.
M43 - NEW - nebula in orion, tough to verify, but pretty certain i saw it
M78 - NEW- reflection nebula in orion. very faint, but saw the two 10th mag stars in it clearly.
M36 - NEW - open cluster in auriga, beautiful
M37 - NEW - open cluster in auriga
M38 - NEW - open cluster in auriga, came back to check out the cross asterlism, which was obvious after it was pointed out