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Classic Messier

beginner classic dso observing report observing refractor
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#1 AllanDystrup

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 02:09 AM

I'm currently on a tour to the Messier objects, using my classic 3" Vixen FL-80S refractor.

I have the scope on a Zeiss motorized EQ tripod (TM 2V), with a Zeiss Amici turret as backend.

My eyepieces are ATC K-40mm as finder, plus classic CZJ orthos 25/16/10mm as "zoom".

My finders are a 8x30 CZJ bino plus a red dot and a KK-8x50mm 7dg FOV piggy back.

 

I take notes and make sketches of the objects along the way.

Here's an excerpt from the latest entry in my log :

 

 M67-BlackL-Crop-1.png

 

    It’s early morning (03:00 local), in the start of January; A 25dy (14%) waning moon is hanging low in Scorpio on the SE horizon, the wind has decreased in strength from yesterday, and the tempereture has settled around a relatively comfortable -2°C. The transparency and seeing are both around medium, and the sky brightness is Bortle 6 / orange, with a VLM ~  5.0m (SQM 17.8). This is not a good DSO night, so I decide to focus on a Messier open cluster, preferably high up towards zenith.

  

      I pick M67 in Cancer as my target for the evening. The star hop is easy: aiming my red dot at Acubans (Alfa CNC), and centering this star in the reticle of my 8x50, 7° FOV finder, I imediately see the cluster as a nebulous spot, approximately 1½° due W of Acubans. The cluster is nicely placed midway between two pairs of 5m/6m stars, and can also easily be seen as such in my 8x30 bino.

  

    Switching to the view in my K-40mm finder eyepiece (27x @ 1.5° FOV), I can hold Acubans at the E edge and M67 at the W edge of the field; I center now on M67 and click up the magnification to the O-16mm eyepiece for 68x @ 36’ FOV; This nicely frames the 25’ wide cluster, with the bright 7.8m orange (class K) star to the E and a stellar clump around a small triangle of 10m stars to the W. Others have imagined the cluster as a King Cobra (with the triangle clump forming the head) – but in my 80mm refractor I rather see a Crawfish (Spiny Lobster) with the triangle as the bent abdomen, an oval to the NE forming the carpax, and the bright K-star centered on a spiny head, with two long antennae extending N and S respectively.

  

     The many unresolved stars forming the compact nebulous crustecean body make this cluster interesting to explore visually, and the old age and diverse composition of the stellar population only increases the interest.

 

Link to -> full report <-

 

Allan


Edited by AllanDystrup, 09 January 2016 - 02:10 AM.

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#2 chrysalis

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 05:49 AM

Very nice Allan!


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#3 tchandler

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 04:17 PM

Thanks for sharing.

It sounds like you're enjoying that Vixen of yours! 


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#4 LivingNDixie

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 05:36 PM

Nice sketch!
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#5 AllanDystrup

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 04:01 AM

"It was a dark and stormy night..."

  
Thus I might have started the Messier report for my recent M52 observation.

The wind force was around Beaufort 7 (14m/s), but my Vixen FL80S was quite stable on my Zeiss TM mount,

and though the temperature was below zero and the chill factor was -15*C (5*F), I had to seize the opportunity

for zooming in on another Messier object. I apologize in advance for the lacking details in the sketch,

but even with the paper taped to my drawing board, it was not easy to keep the pencil and my eyes steady.

 

Here goes...

 

M52-BlackCropL1.png

 

     It’s early evening (19:00 local), in the start of January; The moon is below the horizon, the temperature is below zero (-1°C), but strong eastern winds are sweeping in from the continent, accompanied by a chill factor temp. of around -15°C! Transparency and seeing are both around medium, and the sky brightness is Bortle 6 / Orange, with a VLM ~4.8m (SQM 17½). This is not a good DSO night, so I’ll focus on a Messier open cluster, preferably high up towards zenith.

  

     I choose M52 in Cassiopeia, which is conveniently located at ~61° altitude. The approximate location of the cluster can be found by imagining a line from alpha-to-beta CAS, and then extending this line an equal distance (ca. 5°) up towards the NW. The cluster is clearly visible in my 8x30 bino; I aim my refractor (using the red dot) at the location of M52, and can then immediately spot it as a nebulous haze in my 10x50 finder scope. In my K-40mm WF-eyepiece (24x @ 1.7° FOV), the cluster is visible just N of a 15’ long line of four ~9m stars, that form the keel of a nice boat asterism.

  

     I now switch to my O-16mm eyepiece for 68x @ 0.6° FOV. The central part of the cluster has a nebulous apearance from the haze of many faint stars. The haze seems slightly elongated in the NE-SW direction, looking somewhat like an hourglass, with a bright (~8m) star at the SW base. Under these freezing and stormy conditions, I manage to record around a dozen stars in the cluster, before my eyes as well as my nose start running. I decide to end the observation early, before my fingers become totally numb.

 

-> Full Obs.Report <-

 

Allan


Edited by AllanDystrup, 11 January 2016 - 04:01 AM.

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#6 Nile

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 03:19 PM

:bow: :bow:


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#7 AllanDystrup

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 03:13 AM

The French Lilly  FL.png
    

     A couple of calm, early evenings in the start of December. Both transparency and seeing are just above medium, with Lim.M. around 5m. My primary target for these evenings is the M76 galaxy in Pisces, but after star hopping to the location, I can see no nebulosity at all in the FOV... The suburban yellow zone sky and the ~medium observation conditions are to blame.

    
     Instead I swing the refractor up towards Perseus, aiming the red dot 2° S of Algol, at Rho PER; Now sweeping with my 8x50 finder, from Rho, I follow a line of two 5m stars (Pi and 12 PER) ca. 4½° W, then take a right angle  2½° up N to M34.

    

 

     The M34 open cluster is obvious in the center of my 8x50 finder, filling a quater of the FOV at 27x in the 1.5° of the K-40mm EP; For a somewhat better framing of the open cluster, I switch to the O-25mm EP, yielding 44x @ 0.9° FOV; This gives me a nice view, where the cluster fills the central half of the field.
    

M34-1 BlackLCrop2.png

 

 

If I switch to the O-16mm EP (68x @0.6° FOV), I get M34 almost filling the whole field – still a very nice view, but not many fainter stars are seen.

    

     The main star pattern of M34 is (to my mind) dominated by pairs of stars, stringed together in two lines, emerging from a common northern apex, and then curving south and back north like a pair of lily petals on a stem. Down (south) from the lily flower dangles two long stamina, both ending in a bright (~9.6m) star. This stylized French lily (fleur-de-lis) is furthermore meticulously embedded in a circle of fainter (~9m) stars, like a fine Chartaginian mosaic decoration on the celestial floor.

 

M34-2 BlackLCrop2.png

    

    

 

->M34 Full Report<-

 

     Allan


Edited by AllanDystrup, 14 January 2016 - 03:26 AM.

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#8 Sasa

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 11:36 AM

Great project, very nice reports and even better sketches!
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#9 Sasa

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 07:21 AM

Allan, I have noticed in your reports that you picked the Messier objects on purpose when the night was less optimal for viewing the DSO. I would argue that you should keep with your project also at better conditions (if you can, obviously). My experience is that the "old and known" Messiers can look completely different under dark skies (compared to my backyard views).

 

I still remember a night from two years ago, when I targeted M52 in my AS110 (just slightly larger than your 80mm scope you are using for the project) located in my "darker-site" observatory. At the first sight, I though I had a wrong object. I was confused with the presence of a second very distinct cluster. Quick check with the Uranometria 2000.0 told me that the location was right and that the second one name was Czernik 43. It was very visible at 41x (with the same ATC40mm Kellner as you are using, btw), almost as large as M52, very well detached. With averted vision, M52+Czernik 43 looked like a nice double cluster. I have checked the region several times after this experience and I never saw Cz 43 that well as during this night. Probably the night was exceptional.

 

In your report you are mentioning the Bubble nebula. Did you look at NGC 7635 that night?


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#10 AllanDystrup

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 08:40 AM

Hi Alexander,

 

I currently have 2 primary observation sites: our Bortle orange suburban backyard and our Bortle green rural weekend cottage. My Messier goal for this tour is to see how much I can catch with my Vixen FL80S from these sites; The rural site is of course significantly better for the fainter objects (PN & galaxies), while open clusters and globs are often -- esp. when the transparency and seeing don't cooperate (as they seldom have this season) -- the only feasible targets from my backyard.

 

You do have a point though, that many of the brighter and easier targets also deserve a closer look from a darker site, and I do definitely also plan to return to some of the Messier OC's I've found especially interesting, for a closer study from our rural site.

 

I did read about the Czernik 43 cluster, -- but only after I did the M52 observation  :blackeye:  Also, I planned to look for the Bubble nebula/NGC 7635, which would have been in my field of view with M52, if I had pushed it a little further to the west, but it was a very cold night, and so convenience got the upper hand instead of curiosity... Certainly next time around :) '

 

Allan


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#11 Sarkikos

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 11:21 AM

I'm currently on a tour to the Messier objects, using my classic 3" Vixen FL-80S refractor.

I have the scope on a Zeiss motorized EQ tripod (TM 2V), with a Zeiss Amici turret as backend.

My eyepieces are ATC K-40mm as finder, plus classic CZJ orthos 25/16/10mm as "zoom".

My finders are a 8x30 CZJ bino plus a red dot and a KK-8x50mm 7dg FOV piggy back.

 

I take notes and make sketches of the objects along the way.

Here's an excerpt from the latest entry in my log :

 

 

Somehow I knew that was M67 before I even saw the label!  Good sketch! :waytogo:

 

:grin:

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 03 February 2016 - 11:29 AM.

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#12 Sarkikos

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 11:27 AM

 

     Instead I swing the refractor up towards Perseus, aiming the red dot 2° S of Algol, at Rho PER; Now sweeping with my 8x50 finder, from Rho, I follow a line of two 5m stars (Pi and 12 PER) ca. 4½° W, then take a right angle  2½° up N to M34.

 

For a quick and easy way to find M34, I just point the 1x finder toward the middle of the long triangle formed by Algol, Misam (Kappa Persei) and Almach.  No star hop needed.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 03 February 2016 - 11:29 AM.


#13 Sarkikos

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 11:40 AM

 

     I choose M52 in Cassiopeia, which is conveniently located at ~61° altitude. The approximate location of the cluster can be found by imagining a line from alpha-to-beta CAS, and then extending this line an equal distance (ca. 5°) up towards the NW. The cluster is clearly visible in my 8x30 bino; I aim my refractor (using the red dot) at the location of M52, and can then immediately spot it as a nebulous haze in my 10x50 finder scope. In my K-40mm WF-eyepiece (24x @ 1.7° FOV), the cluster is visible just N of a 15’ long line of four ~9m stars, that form the keel of a nice boat asterism. 

 

 

Under my bright red zone skies, M52 is one of the more difficult Messier open clusters for small telescopes and binos.  It doesn't help that it's in the northern sky, the most light polluted section of sky here.  

 

Early yesterday evening, through my Canon 10x42 IS, I could spot M35, M37, M36, M38, M34, M93, M47, M46, M50, M48, M45, M103.  M46 was the most difficult of all these.  In Cassiopeia, little M103 was easy.  Nearby NGC 663 was even easier.  (I don't understand why Messier didn't include that one on his list.)  

 

But M52?  No sir.  I could not tease it out with certainty from the background sky glow.  I would probably need at least a 70mm instrument to see it clearly here.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 04 February 2016 - 01:12 PM.


#14 kenrenard

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 10:01 AM

Allan, 

This is an inspiring post. I have worked through the Messier list and sketch some of my favorites but I need to take a night or two with each object and really study them. Please keep posting your journey. This is a very enjoyable read!

 

 

Ken


Edited by kenrenard, 04 February 2016 - 10:01 AM.

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#15 AllanDystrup

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 06:20 AM

Thank you Mike and Ken, for your comments and encouraging words, much apreciated ! :)
 

It has been a rather cloudy, humid and windy 2015/16 fall-/winter-season, -- not ideal for DSO,
-- but I can reach back and share with you my observation of M15, from back in December '15:

 


The Great Pegasus Globular

 

  It’s a mid December evening, just after nightfall, around 19:00 local time. It’s calm, cool (1°C) and humid after rain, with a few drifting clouds and some haze towards the horizon, -- but though the transparency is below medium (SQM 17.6 / LM 4.8m), the seeing is good with a faint Milky Way in Cygnus and Perseus, and my target : M15, is ~35° above the SW horizon.

    
     I aim my 1x red dot at Enif  (epsilon PEG), and star hop NW via some 6m stars: first 1° to a line of 3 stars, then further on 3° to a right angle triangle. Looking in my 8x50 finder scope, i see M15 as a hazy star, close to the right angle of the triangle

    
     I center M15 in the finder crosshair, and look in the telescope’s K-40mm eyepiece (24x @ 1.7° FOV) at an obviously nebulous round spot. Clicking up the magnification first to O-25mm (38x @ 1° FOV), I see a bright ball surrounded by a larger, faint halo. Finally settling on O-16mm (60x @ 0.7° FOV), the brightness seems to decrease in three steps (as observed with indirect vision)  : from a bright center, over a slightly mottled  core with an angular outline to a wide hazy envelope.

 

 M15-BlackL-Crop.png

 

 

And here's the link to the ->full observation report<-

Allan
 


Edited by AllanDystrup, 05 February 2016 - 06:23 AM.

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#16 Sarkikos

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 06:46 AM

Happy Birthday, Allan!

 

:band:  :banjodance:  :rimshot:

 

Mike


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#17 AllanDystrup

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 09:30 AM

Thanks for the BD greeting, Mike !

 

I agree with you on M103 vs NGC 663 -- the latter being considerably more impressive;

 

Here's my impression of M103, on a (yet another) less than average night :

(I did also draw NGC 663, but I'll save that for a Caldwell thread, when I'm done with the Messiers :lol:  )

 

 

The Fan Open Cluster

 

 

    It’s a comfortable, mild (5°C/41°F) and dry december evening, 6 PM the day after Christmas.  It has been windy with a blue(ish) sky and high drifting clouds; Now the wind is abating and the seeing is good and steady, -- but the transparency is pretty lousy, with much skyglow due to high haze combined with a full moon on the rise in the east.

  
     For the evenings project, I point my red dot at Ruchbah (delta Cassiopeia), high up in the SE at 81° altitude. Just E of delta CAS is a small triangle of 7m stars, and continuing from the NE corner of this triangle,  ½° up towards epsilon CAS, I get M103 in the center of my 8x50 finder. Switching to my K40mm finder eyepiece, I can hold a field of 1.6° @ 27x (3mm  exit pupil) in one  view, from delta CAS via the small 7m  star-triangle, to M103 and further up 15’ towards the NE, to a tiny triangle of  9m stars.

  
     The M103 cluster has a diameter of only 6’, so to better frame the cluster, I click up the magnification to the 10mm ortho, yielding 108x @ 0.4° FOV (0.7mm XP); Due to the haze and skyglow, the faintest stars I can see are just above 11.5m, and so I can only identify around 15 members of the cluster. They form a nice wedge or fan shaped pattern, with the triple Ʃ131 (Struve) at the apex of the wedge. I can resolve it at 27x using averted vision into a wide pair of around 7m and 10m, with the faint B-component at roughly 135° PA.  Changing to the FFC + O25 (166x), I confirm the A-B split, but am not able to identify the C component.

 

M103-FanOC-BlackL-Crop.png

 

Link to the  ->full observation report<-

 

3 Cheers !

Allan   :grin: 


Edited by AllanDystrup, 05 February 2016 - 09:36 AM.

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#18 Astrojensen

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 03:55 PM

Tillykke med fødselsdagen!  :grin:

 

:hamsterdance:  :snoopy:  :tomatodance:

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark


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#19 AllanDystrup

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 05:26 AM

M44 - The Beehive

 

    It has been a magnificent day of early spring in mid february, +3°C (37°F) with no wind, and a bright (-26m) sun sparkling from a deep blue sky in the thin ice on the lakes, though it’s still only at 21° Alt when culminating  at midday. The sparrowhawk paid a visit at our birdfeeder today, and picked off a tit for lunch. The nuthatch is now singing its one-note song here at sundown, while I wait for the first star to appear. Quite a Zen moment...

    
     Twilight has fallen, bringing a light frost on its coat-tails. Cancer is crawling up above the horizon, the main outline of the constellation still faint at only 28° altitude. There’s a 9 day moon (60% illuminated) in Gemini, significantly increasing the air glow, and so my NELM is reduced to 4.7m (Bortle Red). It’s not an optimal night for Messiers, but as Emilie would have said : “when galaxies are few, open clusters will do…”.

    
     To locate M44, I draw a mental line from Pollux to Regulus, and there, midway between these stellar lighthouses, I find the two 4-5m “donkey stars”:
Asellus Borealis & Asellus Australis. I aim my red dot right between the northern and southern donkey, and a bit to the right (ca. ½° North) I get M44 filling the eyepiece @ 27x with 1½° FOV; There’s no need to zoom in on this 70’ large open cluster, -- it is already perfectly framed by my ATC K-40mm finder eyepiece.

    

M44-BlackL-Crop-Small.png

     In the center of the field half a dozen of 6-7m stars are arranged in an hourglass asterism, embedded in a swarm of fainter 8-10m stars filling the view to the brim with a spiderweb of straight, triangular and circular strands. It is indeed a very “busy” view, and one can understand why Herschel named it the Beehive.

    

     Among the swarming myriad of stars, I spot a blue straggler (#5) and 4 red giant stars (#1-4). The full obs. report can be seen -> HERE <-

 

Allan


Edited by AllanDystrup, 19 February 2016 - 05:37 AM.

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#20 AllanDystrup

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 07:56 AM

M66 - M65

Leo Triplet, East

 

    It’s just past midnight in mid February (01 AM local time), all is calm, cool (-2C/28°F) and quiet, apart from our pair of night owls, who make soft meowing calls in the distance.  A 75% waxing Moon is sailing between Taurus and Gemini, down towards the W horizon, but still (at 23dg Alt) high enough to reduce my NELM to 4.9m (Bortle red), and so it’s not a good night for galaxy observation. I have however cunningly placed the moon behind our  wooden cabin, and with a free view of Leo closing in on the meridian, plus having had a rather skewed diet of open clusters lately, I firmly decide to try the Leo Triplet of galaxies, for a change.

    

     I aim my red dot right between the two 3-4m stars Theta and Iota Leonis, the hind leg of The Lion. I get a bended line of  ~7m stars @ 27x and 1.5° FOV in my ATC K-40mm finder eyepiece – it looks somewhat like the outline of a person sitting on a chair, facing east.  Slightly shifting the FOV from the head of the sitting person (73 Leo), 1° due E, I reset my eyepiece field to include the Leo Triplet of galaxies (M65, M66, NGC 3628). [To be more specific, I should really be saying the Eastern Leo Triplet around 11h18m east of 73 Leo, as there is also the Western Triplet (M95, M96, M105) around 10h46m south of 52 Leo].

 

M66-M65-BlackL-CropSmall.png

    

     M66 and M65 are not obvious at first in the field...; As my eyes get dark adapted, the two Messier galaxies slowly start to enter the scene. M66 seems brighter, with a sharper spindle-shaped outline, a stellar core and a more mottled interior than M65 (this impression is reinforced by a 10m foreground star, TYC 861-1197-1, that is seen close to the NW part of the galaxy). With time I can hold the core of M66 with direct vision, while M65 appears larger, more elongated, oval and fuzzy without a conspicious central core, and is thus best studied with indirect vision. M65 is oriented close to a N-S direction, while M66 seems ”tilted” slightly more to towards the W. This impression is probably caused by the fact, that what I’m predominantly seeing in M66 is the bright, barred nucleus of the galaxy (angled ~20° PA), and not as much the fainter N-S oriented spiral arms.

    

     I take some time trying to spot NGC 3628 (ca. 20’ NW of HD98388), -- but it is too faint to be caught with certainty in this moonlit sky (it has a lower SB than M65/66, due to a broad dust lane seen edge on)

 

Full obs. report ->HERE<-

 

Allan


Edited by AllanDystrup, 19 February 2016 - 08:03 AM.

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#21 AllanDystrup

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 10:14 AM

M38 - M36 - M37
A micro Messier marathon in Auriga

 

    It’s an early evening in mid February, clear and cool (-2°C/28°F) with no wind.  The great spotted woodpecker has stopped its headbanging on the withered branch in our old oak tree and has gone to bed; Instead the night owls have taken over, hooting in our backyard to mark the territory around the nesting box we put up a couple of years back. We hope to see the owl chicks again this year, come late April...

  

     The transparency is very good and the seeing is fine, but a 8 day moon (55% illum.) is hanging high up in Taurus (58° Alt, just 6° W of Aldebaran), so there’s quite a good amount of air glow, reducing my NELM to around 5m ( Bortle 7 / Suburban transition).  My plan for this evening was to study M44 (the Beehive OC in Cancer), but at only 28° Alt and with the bright  glare of the half moon, the Beehive seems too washed out in my 8x30 Bino to be worth a telescopic study. Instead I sweep my 8x30 towards the open clusters in Auriga, and though the moon is near by, all of the M-clusters (M38, M36, M37) are clearly visible in the bino, -- as well as the faint glow of NGC 1907 below M38!

 

 

M38, The Jumping Frog OC
  

     I start my small Auriga Messier-Marathon with M38, that is located 2½° NE in continuation of the row of bright 5m stars between Beta Tau and Iot Aur (I see this row of stars as ”The Whip” of Auriga, The Charioteer). I now zoom in on M38 using my eyepiece-turret, and find the best magnification for framing the cluster to be 68x @ 0.6° FOV  (1.7x GPC + CZJ O-16mm orthoscopic).

 

     M38 is clearly fainter than M36 and M37, and with a rather loose center, where the brightest  10m-11m stars are arranged in a X-shape. To me it looks like a jumping frog with trailing outstretched long legs and smaller arms, that I imagine are reaching out for NGC 1907, just ½° to the SW (the small NGC 1907 OC could then be the fly in the firmament...).

 

M38-BlackL-Crop.png

 

 

M36, The Water Flea OC

  

     Clicking my eyepiece-turret now back to the ATC-40mm finder eyepiece (27x @ 1½° FOV), I start sweeping slowly from M38 a good 2° to the SE, until M36 enters the view.  The best magnification for M36 on this night seems to be the same as for M38 : 68x @ 0.6° FOV  (1.7x GPC + 16mm ortho.).

  

     M36 is another open cluster with a loose center and swirls of stars arranged somewhat like a X. In this respect it resembles M38, but the stars are are fewer and brighter (~ 9m B-type), with the center stars arranged in an open ellipse from which extends a straight ”tail” plus a pair of curved ”arms”, that all-in-all remind me of a water flea (sorry, I’m a biologist...).  Included in the ”ellipse” is a nice double star: 737 (9.1m and 9.4m, sep:11”).

 

M36-BlackL-Crop.png

 

 

M37, The Tick OC

  

     For the final stage of this Micro Messier Marathon in Auriga, I sweep the telescope with my ATC-40mm finder eyepiece (27x @ 1½° FOV), from M36, a good two ”clicks” (~ 4°) ESE until I get M37 in the field of view.

  

     The core of this cluster seems smaller, but richer than its ”siblings”: M36 & M38. I find the outline of the cluster to be reminiscent of a Tick seen sideways. To best frame the cluster, I settle on a higher magnification than for M36 and M38, i.e.: 108x @ 0.5° FOV (1.7x GPC + O-10mm). The core is noticeably more concentrated with an elongated triangular shape divided into a E and W part of ”nebulosity” (from faint, unresolved stars), that are separated by a dark ”lane”, a void without stars.

 

M37-BlackL-Crop.png

 

 

Link to the full obs. report for the Auriga OCs -> HERE <-

 

Allan

 


Edited by AllanDystrup, 21 February 2016 - 10:31 AM.

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#22 Sasa

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 02:55 PM

Allan, you are doing really well! Just for comparison, here is my older sketch of M38 from my backyard. I too noticed the cross-like shape. In addition I noticed two long chains going north (you used one as a from leg(?):

 

http://www-hep2.fzu....ic/orig/m38.jpg


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#23 AllanDystrup

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 03:52 PM

A fine sketch with your Telementor, Alexander!
Very interesting and great fun to compare our drawings.

 

I recognize both of your north going star chains in my sketch, (the eastern being one of the frogs hind legs).

 

You have a slightly larger FOV, so you could include the "fly in the ointment" in your sketch :-) Nice!

Also, though your aperture was smaller, I think you must have had a little darker (no moonlight?) sky to catch the fainter stars in your sketch.

 

Thanks for sharing!
Allan

 

As an aside, I've thought for some time about the close relationship between drawing and seeing (as in really SEEING) an object. Yesterday I stumbled upon this research : http://www.huffingto..._n_1451748.html

 

Some qoutes to think about:

 

  • people who can't draw well aren't seeing the world as it really is
     
  • people who have the most trouble judging apparent size, shape, color and brightness may also be the worst at drawing
     
  • drawing seems to involve focusing on both holistic proportional relationships as well as focus on detail isolated from the whole. Perhaps it is the ability to switch between these two modes of seeing that underpins successful drawing,

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#24 Sasa

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 04:55 PM

Yep, no Moon. The milky background making the "cross" is not to drive the eye, it was really there. You are right about drawing, people should really try even if they think they are bad in it (as me). It helps becoming better observer. BTW, sometimes, if I redraw the sketch and I want to produce better looking picture, like in this case of M38 drawing, I use catalog positions of brighter stars that I plotted (or by eye from image). I just fill the fainter stars and the object of interest. It helps to keep the proportions. If one is organized, and knew what he is going to draw before the session, he can prepare the "skeleton" with just few brighter stars. The drawing is then much faster and more precise. It is great help for those who have troubles keeping the proportions.


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#25 AllanDystrup

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 08:38 AM

When drawing I always start with a blank observation form.

 

I then draw the main field stars to establish the framework for the finer details such as fainter stars and the outline of any nebulosity.

And I take notes of the observation conditions and my impressions at the eyepiece (such as star patterns)

 

When I look at the drawing the following day, I don't add further detail : what's on the paper is exactly what I observed that night with that instrument under those circumstances. I do however orient and add the equatorial grid to my observation form, and in this proces I compare my "star plot" with star maps and astrophotos, which is my way to precisely identify and verify, what I saw. I also read up on the astrophysics of the objects and - to the extent possible - try correlate my visual impression with current astronomical knowledge. That is part of the fun, to me.

 

There has been a couple of instances, where I couldn't properly macth my drawing to the EQ grid according to star maps and photos of my observation field -- then I had to discard the drawing an make a new one later.

 

But I feel I'm getting better along the way  :) ; As they state in the research article :

  • "There is no doubt that practice is an important component of being able to draw,"

And thus better to SEE, I might add.

Allan




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