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M94, with a 4 inch refractor.

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#1 rodelaet



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Posted 01 May 2009 - 12:17 PM

Again one of those fuzzy Messier Galaxies, wouldn’t you think? You’ve seen it probably before, and moved on to another target. But have you ever returned to M94 again? I did, and it sure was worth revisiting. My first recorded observation and sketch date from 2005. Now, four years later, and with a bit more experience, I grabbed my pencil and clipboard for a relaxing encounter with M94.
The galaxy displays a bright, almost stellar nucleus, embedded in the disk of the core. The faint shape of the outer halo is almost too hard to discern in the four inch refractor. That’s it, same view as in 2005. Time to move on?
I took a few deep breaths and waited for M94 to reveal its delicate character. With a second look, the core started to show hints of a luminous ring, or at least pieces of a ring. This is the fun part of observing. The eye slowly becomes acquainted with the view of the observed object. The more time you spend at the eyepiece, the more detail you will see. Unnoticed features begin to enhance the overall impression of the remote galaxy. Its amorphous glow transforms slowly into a more detailed image. The halo, neglected at first, becomes a second fainter ring around the nucleus.
After 45 minutes of careful study, my sketch was ready. And I was glad that I revisited good old M94.
If you take your time to study the sketch, you'll see more detail as well.

Site : Bekkevoort, Belgium ( 51° N )
Date : April 19, 2009
Time : around 23.00 UT
Scope : Skywatcher 102/500mm achromatic refractor
Eyepiece : Baader Hyperion Zoom at 8mm
Magnification : 63x
FOV: 65’
Filter : none
Seeing : 3/5
Transp. : 4/5
Sky brightness : 19.96 magnitudes per square arc second near zenith (SQM reading).
Nelm: 5.5
Sketch Orientation: N up, W right.
Digital sketch made with Corel Paint Shop Pro X2, based on a raw pencil sketch.

Attached Files

#2 JayinUT


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Posted 01 May 2009 - 01:28 PM


I really like your placement of the stars around M94. The variance in not only size but brightness is pristine. I've noticed one thing in my own sketching this spring is that in terms of galaxies they sketch often similar to planetary nebula's. By that I mean the shells or layers that seem to peal away from both.

I love the outer shell of M94 in your sketch and then a slightly brighter shell inside of the first with the central core region inside of that and much brighter. Very nicely done. Thanks for sharing.

#3 rodelaet



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Posted 01 May 2009 - 04:29 PM


Thank you. :)

Your remark about the layers is much true! I noticed 3 'shells' in the eyepiece and actually used 3 layers for the appearance of M94 in the sketch.

#4 Tommy5



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Posted 01 May 2009 - 07:34 PM

great sketch, almost looks like a comet coma with the shells, thanks for posting.

#5 Achernar



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Posted 01 May 2009 - 08:00 PM

This is a very nice drawing of M-94, which is a very interesting object in larger telescopes. You did a very good job rendering how the galaxy actually looks through a small telescope. Well done!:bow: :bow:


#6 frank5817



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Posted 02 May 2009 - 09:31 AM


Magnificent sketch of M-94. :bow: :rainbow: :bow: I find this galaxy one of the easiest and brightest of all the galaxies in northern light polluted skies. You have captured all of the galaxy's splendor with minimal aperture. Great job!

Frank :)

#7 CarlosEH


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Posted 03 May 2009 - 11:22 AM


An excellent observation of M94 in Canes Venatici. You have captured this galaxy very nicely. When you study the halo you can discern condensations and dust lanes. Thank you for sharing it with us all.


#8 rodelaet



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Posted 05 May 2009 - 02:57 PM

Tommy, Taras, Frank & Carlos,

Thanks for the kind comments. :)

#9 kraterkid


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Posted 05 May 2009 - 05:47 PM

WOW! Rony, this sketch is simply sublime! From the very faint concentric halos to the star-like core and if I look carefully, the hint of feathery spiral arms (at the limit of visibility) arrayed around the galaxy's periphery. Beautiful sketch! :bow: :rainbow: :bow:

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