Astronomy

Observing Log for

Session Details


Tillicoultry

56.1574, -3.74906

50m

Notes

A mild clear night with very good seeing.

Observations

M65 and M66 - Galaxy Pair in Leo

The presence of a waxing crescent Moon, albeit on the other side of the sky, meant that conditions weren't ideal for galaxy spotting, but I tried anyway. M65 and M66 were dimmer than my previous time observing them due to the moonlight. Both galaxies were visible but there was very little detail. Averted vision brought some definition to their shape. The third galaxy was not visible even with averted vision.

M51 - Whirlpool Galaxy

Like the Leo galaxies this was easy to locate but the detail was poorer. The two cores were visible in the 25mm ep, surrounded by patchy grey haze. There was no further detail revealed even with averted vision.

M101 - Pinwheel Galaxy

Another fairly easy star hop, near M51. This was not visible in the finderscope but I got the star pattern matched up perfectly and a grey haze was apparent when I switched over to the eyepiece. It was really only visible as an apparent shimmering, especially if I moved the telescope back and forth slightly. It appeared very large, taking up a significant part of the FOV of the 25mm plossl.

M3 - Globular Cluster

This required quite a long star hop from Muphrid near Arcturus in Bootes but was actually quite straightforward with a good number of recognisably bright star patterns along the way. The globular was easily visible as an out of focus star in the finder scope. In the 25mm eyepiece it appeared as a compact globe of starlight, brighter towards the centre and slightly distorted to one side. Moving up to the 10mm gave a much fuller view with the graininess resolving into individual stars.

M63 - Sunflower Galaxy

A relatively easy star hop from Cor Caroli. The galaxy was not visibile in the finder but again I could match up star patterns and ended up with it in the 25mm ep. The tilted nature of the galaxy was apparent, as well as the bright spot of the core.

M97 - Owl Nebula

An awkward star hop given how high overhead Ursa Major is at the moment. I was initially looking for the galaxy M108 but was struggling. Instead, I located the nearby Owl Nebula which appeared as a fairly uniform grey disc of fuzzy light without any apparent detail.