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M 14 - IC4666 - M11

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#1 azure1961p


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Posted 30 August 2019 - 07:30 AM

87.5mm Mak
9:30PM EDT
Trnsp: Good

First up:

Messier 14, and this was my  first time view under a mag 6 sky but it asks a bit of attention.  Essentially  flat granular glow,  barely a stellar grit to be had. A poor field - difficult at 119x to even find a star to focus on.  Pretty disappointing.  Oh well, I can say I saw it.


Soon after way up high  Zeta Herculis.  Diffraction pattern suffering - but transparency is nice tonight. Pickering 4 - slow but soft focus still the transparency is sweet. So I move on...

I point somewhere low near Ophiuchus and just surf the milkyway clouds at 31x.  Nothing planned - just letting it happen.


I hit IC4665. Nice loose mag. 4 open cluster. Shows enticingly in the finder too.  Perhaps it looks better there - too loose at 31x. I like a little more density.



The next OC fixed that , and I literally stumbled on it like IC4665.

M11 dazzles.  Last time I saw this I was about 15 with a 4 -1/4 " reflector in the 70s.  It fine then as I recall - but I never returned.  I was more interested in globulars - my new challenge at that time.

Tonight though - WOW -  with the C90 I'm amazed at it's stellar grit texture, streaked with dark lanes, coursed with strings and abbreviated with brighter stars here and there. My memory of this was just OK.  Im swept with the views brilliance.


From 31x I jump to 119x and heavens vault opens up. The streaks of lesser or no star regions in the best moments appear like black paint layed down by Joan Miro.  Sometimes straight other times hectic and splattered and criss-crossed. These voids are amazing.  They emerge best with deliberate deep breathing and averted attention.


Moving up to 138x I try to nail down specific locations of the many starry members but the richness leaves only the brighter 15-20 any chance of that kind of certainty.  Beyond that it's a gritty glowing sheet of multitudes and while I could fudge a drawing - it'd be more a caricature. There's too much happening with the glowing gestalt of it all.  And that GLOW!

I reflected on images of this beauty and I swear digital images of this beauty suck the soul out of it.  It's a nice map but it's not the landscape.


I looked some more, maybe I'd seen too many photos over the years and it clouded my memory of its REAL grandeur.

What a phenomenal sight. A drawing would've taken hours.



Edited by azure1961p, 30 August 2019 - 07:32 AM.

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#2 Starman1


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Posted 06 September 2019 - 02:04 PM

M14's horizontal branch is magnitude 17.1+/-.

It wasn't until I had a 12.5" under dark skies with superb seeing that I saw the entire cluster covered with stars from edge to edge.

I now find it more interesting than M10 or M12, whereas, with my old 8", it was the reverse.

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