M103, not what I thought.
Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:48 PM
Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:06 PM
Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:08 PM
Posted 09 November 2012 - 10:25 PM
I passed over this cluster many, many times as I was looking for something much more substantial.
Here's my sketch of it from a few nights ago.
Posted 09 November 2012 - 11:00 PM
Posted 10 November 2012 - 04:51 AM
It's a very sparse cluster. In my Mag 4 skies in my 8", I see about five stars in the main cluster.
Crank up the magnification, look more carefully, and you'll see lots more stars. Four of them are much brighter than the rest, creating the y or gamma pattern that's so easy to recognize. But they're surrounded by a cloud of 20 or so considerably fainter stars. Still not a very impressive cluster, but richer than (say) M39.
This is more obvious under dark skies, but 8 inches of aperture is ample to show the fainter stars even in very bright conditions.
Posted 10 November 2012 - 03:53 PM
For the last few years I've taken on this observing philosophy. Except for extremely challenging objects I don't look at images of it so I have no preconcieved idea of what I "should" see. That way I log what I do see. Sure I know people might say, "then you don't know of such and such obscure part of this object", in order to look for it. Then again, after I observe an object I do then go look it up. It's way more exciting if I did noticed this aspect of the object when I didn't know it was there and if I didn't then all it means is I need to revisit the object.
Also, depending on your taste in objects some of them will leave you with an impression of, Meh.
Look at it this way, your goal was to obseve M103 and you did. Good on you.
Posted 10 November 2012 - 06:08 PM
Globular clusters like M13 and open clusters like M103 are fundamentally different things. Stars in an open cluster may have some gas providing a glow in the area, but there is no core of unresolved stars that makes that central smudge associated with globs.
Taking a break for a few minutes. Was just looking at M103 and I didn't see what I was expecting. I was looking for dim smudge about half the size as M13, with some brighter stars shining. All I see is the brighter stars and no smudge.
Posted 10 November 2012 - 08:49 PM
Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:24 PM
Yes Tony I cranked it up to 156X and there are more stars.
I'll have another look for that Christmas tree Paul.
Posted 12 November 2012 - 03:25 PM
I always thought M103 looks like a Christmas Tree. If you look it has a triangle shape with a "star" on top and even a colorful "ornament" in the branches. At least it looks that way to me. I have had fun showing it to folks over the holidays since it is well placed in the early evening.
This is how it always looks to me, too. My Dad said it would look like a triangle and that was my clue. M103 was one of the first ones I found by myself when I started astronomy and it will always be one of my favorites.
Posted 13 November 2012 - 06:36 PM
Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:53 AM