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Messier 80 and a Sketch of Saturn

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#1 Special Ed

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 10:33 AM

Hello Folks,

I've been spending more time with astronomy lately after a long hiatus due to work and weather. Saturn is already well past the meridian by the time it gets dark now so I have been looking at it first. I got this view of the beautiful ringed planet not long ago:

http://www.asod.info/?p=10357

Not far to the east of Saturn these day lies Scorpius with all of its deep sky wonders. Messier 80 is an often overlooked globular cluster--overlooked partly because of its small apparent size and because of its proximity to the famous Messier 4. Estimates vary--M80 is somewhere between 20,000 and 32,600 LY distant.

At low power, M80 really does look like a very small, tailless comet, so it is appropriate for it to be included on Messier's list. I was curious about how it would look at high magnification with lots of aperture so I trained my big Cat on it and starting from 98x, went through 170x and 256x all the way to 340x.

My observation was limited by intermittent below average transparency (nearby 3rd magnitude Sigma Scorpii kept winking in and out) and the Messier object's low altitude. M80 is listed as being about 10 arcminutes in diameter but I couldn't see that much of it. I could sometimes resolve some stars but mostly the cluster had a mottled, irregular appearance. Anyway, here is the result. Good luck with your own observations. It's good to be back in the forums. :)

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#2 kenrenard

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 01:07 PM

Beautiful work.


Ken

#3 youngamateur42

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 03:48 PM

I always liked this glob and your right- it always gets overlooked and is really a find cluster

#4 Special Ed

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 09:08 PM

Ken and ya42,

Thank you. Maybe seeing this post will prompt some to take a look at much neglected M80. :)

BTW, I forgot to mention that I created the drawing of M80 at the eyepiece using 2B, HB. and 3H pencils and a blending stump on Canson Pure White drawing paper. Details on the Saturn sketch are in the narrative.

#5 frank5817

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 09:28 PM

Michael,

Very fine capture of M-80. This is a fine globular up at the west end of the scorpion. I'm always a little intimidated to get started on globulars when sketching but they are easier than Planet Saturn.
Great job on these two - just masterful.

I'll bet you are settled into that fine observatory you built not too long ago.

Frank :)

#6 niteskystargazer

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 11:12 PM

Michael,

Very good sketch of M-80 :).

CS,KLU,

:thanx:,

Tom

#7 Special Ed

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 07:48 AM

Thanks, Frank. The observatory is wonderful--I still have to pinch myself sometimes to make sure it's there. :cool:

Yes, globs have a fairly high intimidation factor and I have much more experience sketching Saturn so I approached the task with some trepidation. What helped was I reviewed Jeremy Perez's tutorial on sketching globular clusters in the book he co-authored, Astronomical Sketching: a Step by Step Introduction , before I began my session. As you know, Jeremy's website, The Belt of Venus , is one of the best resources on the Internet.

Thanks, Tom. :)

#8 Tamas Bognar

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 01:42 PM

Michael,

Excelent sketch !

#9 Special Ed

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 07:18 AM

Thank you, Tamas.

#10 Aquarellia

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 12:25 AM

Nice sketch again, I never try,... yet, to sketch such object, your result push me to this direction. Thank you to share.

#11 Jef De Wit

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 08:16 AM

Lovely work!

#12 ericj

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 08:22 AM

Hi Michael,

Very nice sketches and glad to hear you have more time for observing.

Best,

Eric

#13 Special Ed

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 09:57 PM

Michel, Jef, Eric--thanks to all of you. I think that sharing on the forums pushes all of us to go a little further or try for a new object. :)

#14 Asbytec

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 10:50 PM

Michael, how did I miss commenting on your sketch? My initial impression is, "wow very life-like." I guess that means you captured it very well. Love the softer arms, very realistic right up to the use of averted vision to see them against the dark background. :grin:

#15 Tommy5

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 01:47 PM

Excellent sketch of this neglected DSO, nice to see you sketching again and I'm glad you found some time to use your observatory.

#16 Special Ed

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:47 PM

Norme, T5--thanks guys! I tried to make it look like I saw it. Rainy weather for almost a week has chased me back out of the observatory but over soon, I hope.

#17 WadeVC

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 04:16 AM

Oh Ed, now you know I always liked your sketches, and this one is no different. :jump:

#18 Special Ed

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 09:19 AM

Wade,

Thank you for those very kind words. :rainbow:

#19 PeterDob

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 03:28 PM

M80 is, like you justly pointed out, a neglected beauty like some of its sisters in OPH. I'm thrilled to see that you brought it back to our attention and in such a spectacular way. Very nice sketch!

Peter

Ps: Congrats for the ASOD! :D

#20 Special Ed

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 09:14 AM

Thank you, Peter. :) This time of the year, with the globular clusters in Oph, Sco, and Sgr, our cup runneth over.






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