October 2004 Archives

Mare Crisium and Cleomedes Crater

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Observation Notes: This area was the most prominent set of features on the terminator when I checked it out tonight. The flooded basin displayed an arcuate rille sliding along the inside of the rim. The rim threw stark daggers of shadow, while the basin showed a soft transition from...
Observation Notes: M11 holds a special place for me. It was the first deep space object I viewed through the new telescope--besides M45 & M31 which I had seen before. It was very exciting to see something with my own eyes that prior to that night I never even...

J. Herschel Crater

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Observation Notes: For this 2nd lunar sketch, I ran across this huge crater, J. Herschel, that seemed to straddle a ridge on the northwestern limb of the moon. The apparent ridge on the north edge of the crater, was actually a series of adjacent craters hidden in shadow called...

Messier 80

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Observation Notes: This was a small, dim globular cluster--at least in the horrible conditions I was viewing: low in the sky, in an areas of heavy light pollution, and bad seeing to top it off. I couldn't see any granularity, or aberration in shape. It just appeared soft and...

Messier 39

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Observation Notes: A bright, large, open cluster with a couple dozen bright stars and many more dimmer ones. It filled the 1.4 degree field of view. The main area fits in about a half degree area. All stars appear to be white. I saw quite a lot of double...

Messier 2

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Observation Notes: This globular cluster was bright and concentrated. The nucleus was not stellar in appearance, but still concentrated. Granularity was barely perceptible at 48X. At 120X, the granularity was still on the subtle side. Only 3 or 4 stars appeared to be flickering in and out. The brightest...

Messier 73

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Observation Notes: This asterism was hard to find. I had to find M72 first, and then move east. It was much smaller and dimmer than I expected--it's 4 stars after all. The 2 stars on the east end are the brightest. The westernmost star is the dimmest. Factoids: This...

Messier 55

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Observation Notes: The 48X view showed a large star cluster. It didn't have a tight core. It was actually very loose. Granularity was apparent across its wide face. The brightest areas seemed to be the NW, but not strongly so. Overall it is dim. The 120X view shows granularity...

Messier 28

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Observation Notes: At 37X, this globular cluster is small, but still easily visible. I didn't see any granularity at this magnification. The nucleus was circular and tight, but not stellar. At 120X, granularity was still hard to come by. About 7 or 8 stars were blinking in and out...

Messier 74

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Observation Notes: This was the 2nd of 2 galaxies I observed the night of an observing trip out to Wupatki National Monument, north of Flagstaff. It was a large diffuse galaxy. The core was on the verge of being stellar, but I don't think I had enough aperture to...

Messier 77

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Observation Notes: This was one of 2 galaxies I observed the night of an observing trip out to Wupatki National Monument, north of Flagstaff. The main halo of the galaxy appeared circular, but the core seemed to elongate SW to NE. The center of the core is a thick...

Messier 15

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Observation Notes: This was a large, bright globular. It was hard to find at first, due to its nearness to a number of bright stars. So it didn't stand out so well in the finder. 38X showed a hint of granularity. The southern side of the cluster seemed to...

Messier 72

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Observation Notes: I had a heck of a time finding this, by drawing a bead off Epsilon Aquarii. It was a dim small globular. I wasn't able to resolve it at 37X or 120X. Luminosity rises softly across its face. Factoids: At 53,000 light years distant, M72 is one...
Observation Notes: M110 appears very dim and diffuse. It is larger than M32, but much harder to see. It is elongated NW to SE and sort of points to M32. It is about 3/4 of a degree from the core of M31 to the west. It has a soft,...
Observation Notes: This circular galaxy lies about a half degree south of the core of M31. Its luminous profile has a stellar core to it. In the 10 mm eyepiece, the south edge of the galaxy seems to be sharper than the north edge. Factoids: M32 is a bright,...

Messier 71

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Observation Notes: Through the 25 mm eyepiece, this globular cluster was dim and small, but still remarkably grainy. It was also elongated. In the 10 mm eyepiece a number of stars showed at the edges and a few across the face. The shape was irregular, and seemed to make...

Messier 54

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Observation Notes: This is the most eastern of 3 globular clusters I observed at the base of the Sagittaruis teapot on 10/3/04. The others were M69 and M70, and M54 was brighter than both of those, with a sharper, more condensed nucleus. I couldn't resolve any stars, even with...

Messier 70

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Observation Notes: This is one of 3 globular clusters I observed at the base of the Sagittaruis teapot on 10/3/04. (The others were M69 and M54. M70 appeared as a small globular cluster with a soft distribution of luminosity, with a distinct but soft core. The 120X view seemed...

Messier 6 - Butterfly Cluster

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Observation Notes: This open cluster is NW of M7 in Scorpius. I noticed more graininess in the background compared to M7. It was also tighter than M7 and filled about 20' of the 1.4° view. The pattern that stood out to me right away was a parallelagram of 4...

Observing Report - 10.03.2004

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I got a new section started in my sky journal for the New-and-Improved Messier records, made note of the things I had to take note of, and kept an eye on how the setting of the sun was progressing (a watched sun never sets, btw). Having seen Scorpius still low...

Messier 7 - Ptolemy's Cluster

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Observation Notes: A beautiful, wide open cluster near the stinger of Scorpius. While the bulk of the cluster filled the 1.4° view, the more concentrated portion spanned about 15-20'. This concentration was bounded by a square of brighter stars. The SW corner of that square appeared to be marked...

Messier 69

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Observation Notes: This small globular cluster showed as a fuzzy circular patch at 37X. The 120X magnification showed a hint of 2 or 3 stars across the surface of the cluster. The brightness curve was soft with an obvious central concentration. The brightest neighboring star is to the NW....

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