I could easily detect M63 at lowest power of 17x, next to a shiny star of 9th magnitude. With each higher power, the view became more interesting but also more confusing. M63 displayed a tenuous and elongated halo which gradually brightened towards the core. The nucleus appeared much brighter again and definitely not stellar. It looked rather granular. The more time I spent at the eyepiece, the better I could reveal some mottling in the faint halo. It appeared to me that the halo was growing larger with the time. The mottling in the halo suggested that the core was surrounded by concentric oval rings, or was that an illusion?
The sketch was made at 100x.
Site : Bekkevoort, Belgium ( 51Â° N )
Date : May 26, 2009
Time : around 22.30 UT
Scope : Skywatcher 102/500mm achromatic refractor
Eyepiece : Baader Hyperion 5mm
Magnification : 100x
Filter : none
Seeing : 3/5
Transp. : 4/5
Sky brightness : 19.93 magnitudes per square arc second near zenith (SQM reading).
Sketch Orientation: N up, W right.
Digital sketch made with Corel Paint Shop Pro X2, based on a raw pencil sketch.