I do not remember how long this observation took, the galaxy was invisible most of the time. The star field was correct, that's all I knew. Had to wait for those very fleeting flashes and try to catch them accurately when they happened. Piece them together into a whole to figure out what we seen. We just cannot do that in 5 minutes. If I had dropped in for a quick look, I'd never know the galaxy was there. It takes a while to see something we cannot see most of the time. All I have to show for it is a core and elongated halo.
You know, M33 has always been a personal nemesis every since I first tried to see it as a kid. The first impression was so very dim I thought it was impossible. Some attempts over the years resulted in the same featureless smudge. Just way too difficult. Until one night I decided I would stare at the faint smudge for as long as it took to see something in my 6" at the time. To see anything. It is a Messier object, thus fairly bright, and other folks take about seeing stuff. So, why not attempt it, give the nemesis a good hard look to see what I was missing.
In short order, two HII regions became visible. Some variation in the soft dim glow and foreground stars began to show, as well. That's already better than previous attempts or past lack of interest in even trying. I recall being at the eyepiece (and trying others) for over two hours. Maybe more. And over two nights. Who does that? Who in their right mind stares at a faint seemingly featureless patch in the sky for over two hours? Doing so, I began to see the core as somewhat elongated, an appropriate image approximating the visual experience showed this, too. Now we're getting somewhere.
Now, let be clear, I never saw it's sprawling spiral arms in the classic sense of actually seeing them. But over time I figured out where they must be by paying close attention to very soft and hardly observed variations in brightness of that dim 'featureless' patch. After a long time working the faint patch, I finally decided where the arms must be and which way they must be spiraling away. Upon verification, I was right. The location and spiral orientation (near the core) were accurate. It's almost like seeing them without actually seeing them, if that makes sense to anyone who may understand what I mean.
So, I feel like that was a productive observation and put my life long nemesis to rest. That was just not going to happen in any less amount of time or with less effort.
Edited by Asbytec, 02 September 2019 - 07:57 PM.