Heep Cracks the Globulars
Posted 22 July 2003 - 08:48 AM
Equipment: Heep - Slicer and Dicer of globulars (AKA 'umble 4.5" DS Newtonian on EQ mount, 900mm, f/8), 16x50 bino's
Eyepeices: 20mm, 10mm, 6.7mm Meade Plossls
Location: Newmarket, Ont. (approx. 44n, 79w)
Time: 0130 - 0500 UT
So many observations, so little time ...
Newmarket was again blessed with crystal-clear skies on the night of Friday, July 18, from my light-bathed suburban back yard. My targets were (as usual), M3 and M5, my two dreaded nemesises ... er, nemeses ... or is it nemesi. Whatever. The seeing on this night happened to be five stars, even from my back yard. And I realized, after consulting my handy Peterson's, that the two marker stars I had been using to find M5 were the wrong ones. That might go a long way towards explaining my inability to find it. After hopping from the right stars, I found it within five minutes.
M5 appeared to have a very large, bright core, and very little in the way of structure, but with averted vision with the 10mm (90x), some of the outer stars were resolved. I bumped up the magnification with the 6.7mm, and after letting my eyes relax, I was able to patiently tease out well over two dozen stars almost to the core. The core itself began to show ragged edges, as of several clumps of stars almost resolved.
Observing note: detail on the cusp of visibility can be coaxed out if you periodically move your eyes from one spot to another throughout the field of view. It almost seems as though your vision gets "refreshed" in this manner.
Having seen significant detail in M5 (for a most 'umble 4.5" Newt), Heep was anxious to see if other globs would prove as generous. Lined up M3 again, and lo and behold, found it in the field of view inside of five minutes! Once again, using averted vision, and moving my eye from one spot to another around the target, I was able to resolve half a dozen stars or so near the edge of the cluster. This cluster looked more like a glob than M5, with a small, bright, clearly defined core surrounded by a larger but fainter outer region. Although more difficult to resolve than M5, it has a more pleasing, symmetrical shape.
Well, having subdued my personal nemes - enemies so quickly, I was at a loss for what to pursue for the rest of the evening. I attempted to locate M11, but the well-defined Milky Way cloud that I had used to find it previously was invisible from my back yard. I could locate it readily in bino's but not in the scope.
I had no difficulty finding M31 (another first in this scope), which showed a round, bright core and a faint outer region. No structure was visible at all. A dark sky may show more detail. Also, I think I caught a glimpse of M32 as well - but it seemed to be too distant from its parent. Even with the 20mm (45x), it was well over halfway across the field of view, making it approximately .5 degrees from M31.
Flush with success from cracking two tough globulars, I decided to call it a night. On to M22 and M4!
Posted 22 July 2003 - 05:49 PM
Posted 22 July 2003 - 05:58 PM
Posted 24 July 2003 - 10:04 AM
If you could run that thing down to a lower power (in dark skies) you should be able to see over 2 degrees of M31!
Yeah, a 32mm EP is on my list of stuff (but I think #1 is a Telrad).