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M81 widefield

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#1 Astrojensen

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 04:40 AM

Hello folks!

Last evening I had less than an hour between the end of astronomical twilight and moonrise. I had the C8 out to cool, for a later look at Saturn, but before moonrise, it was deep-sky time. I wanted to test my WO 72mm f/6 Megrez apo with Baader Maxbright binoviewer on some deep-sky objects. After quick looks at M51/NGC 5195, I aimed the scope at M81/82. The 72mm and Baader Maxbright with 1.25x corrector and 25mm Kellners give 21x power and a field just shy of 2.5 degrees, well into binocular territory.

The view was incredibly nice. M81 appeared twice its usual size and M82 was a tiny, bright streak. It clearly showed the dust band and the two bright clumps, despite the low power. To my delight, I could also hold not only NGC 3077, but also NGC 2976 in the field together with M81/82 at once. It was a stunning sight. The image is mirror-reversed.

Posted Image

The sketch is made by printing a chart from Cartes du Ciel in negative and sketch the galaxies on it, then scan the drawing and convert it to a positive in MS Paint. I think it came out rather well, even if the stars look too large for my taste. The reason for this technique is that I didn't have enough time at the eyepiece before moonrise to sketch the literally hundreds of stars that littered the field. I took notes on the galaxies only and even here I didn't have enough time. It sure was a quick way to make a sketch, though. I may use this a lot more. I have an idea of drawing all the Messiers with a small scope, so I need the help I can get.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#2 Asbytec

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 06:52 AM

Envy is a sin and I am a sinner. Nice, Thomas...just nice.

#3 Rutilus

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 08:48 AM

Yet again Thomas I take my hat off to you, for not only a wonderful sketch, but also a superb observation indeed.
With my 20x60 binoculars I can pick-up M81/82, but I will have to give them a go with my 20x100mm giant binoculars.
These were two galaxies that were on my regular supernovae hunting list, many years ago. I remember seeing my first supernovae in M81, a really bright one of the ninth magnitude, that I observed with a 4 inch refractor.

#4 Jef De Wit

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 11:07 AM

The sketch is made by printing a chart from Cartes du Ciel in negative and sketch the galaxies on it, then scan the drawing and convert it to a positive in MS Paint.

Why not? Good idea when you have not enough time or you want to spent more time on the DSO than sketching all those stars!

#5 blb

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 11:17 AM

Wow Thomas, in all the times that I have looked at M81 & M82, I have never seen NGC 2976 and NGC 3077. The sketch of all four galaxies in one field of view is great. I leave out so many stars in my sketches when the field is so full of them. I only show the brighter stars so using your technique gives a much more realistic view. GOOD JOB! Well done.

#6 niteskystargazer

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 12:05 PM

Thomas,

Very nice sketch of M-81 :).

CS,KLU,

:thanx:,

Tom

#7 JakeSaloranta

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 12:15 PM

Why not? Good idea when you have not enough time or you want to spent more time on the DSO than sketching all those stars!


Or simply draw some of the brightest stars in the field. Objects such as open clusters can get quite easily lost in a rich field if you sketch ALL the stars you can see. Also it takes far too long - at least for me when you got like 30-40 clear nights a year.

/Jake

#8 JayinUT

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 01:23 PM

Thomas,

An excellent capture of there four galaxies.

#9 Mentor

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 05:13 PM

I really like views of multiple DSOs in a single field. It adds a depth to the image that an isolated object is somehow missing. Your rich portrayal of the field stars only adds to this depth.

Very nice work!

#10 frank5817

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 07:44 PM

Thomas,

Wide views of deep sky targets are just great. This sketch looks very nice indeed.

Frank :)

#11 CarlosEH

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 01:52 AM

Thomas,

An excellent wide field view of M81/82, NGC 2976, and NGC 3077. Your refractor did a very nice job capturing all of these objects. Thank you for sharing it with us all.

Carlos






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