|Another wonderful evening. Low light pollution for this area. I could see all 7 Litle Dipper stars and a faint Milky Way band.
Tonight I wanted to run a little Messier Marathon in trying to see everything that was up between 10pm and 3am that was not utterly in the glow of Portland. I accomplished most of it.
My sister was in town, so I showed her a handful of deep space objects. To my surprise, she was delighted to see them! Here is what I looked at, some with her and some after she had left.
M31 - Galaxy
Obviously tremendously bright. The edges were so dim however, that the companion M32 appeared far away though still in the same field of view.
M32 - Galaxy
M32 pretty much looked like a small planetary nebula - like the Blinking Nebula in Cygnus, it's just that it didn't require the high power that tiny planetary nebula does. It essentially looked like a larger fuzzy star, roughly the same magnitude as the stars around it.
M110 - Galaxy
Just above the fiekd of vuew of M31/32 this galaxy is very faint. Much larger than M32, but much fainter.
M2 - Globular Cluster
A small globular cluster, begain to resolve in the 9mm (167x) and resolved better when I Barlowed the 9mm and was pretty much the same with the 5.1mm (298x). It looked the best withh the 25mm double Barlowed to a 6.75mm.
LINEAR (C/2003 K4) - Comet
Still no tai lon this one. It's pretty bright because it's nearly staight up in the sky. Unfortualtely, when it's at it's closest point, it will be below the horizon in the Northern hemisphere.
M51 - Glalaxy
No spiral arms tonight. Perhaps it's getting too low on the horixon these days, or perhaps my eyes are just not adjusted enough.
M52 - Open Cluster
This open cluster has many bright and many many dim stars in it, I can see why the call it the salt and pepper cluster. It looks awesome in the 25mm (60x) and even better with it Barlowed to 120x.
NGC 457 (Owl Cluster) - Open Cluster
This cluster is so cool loooking. It's becoming one of my favorite open clusters in the Summer sky. The eyes and wings of the owl are so distinct, it really looks planted.
M103 - Open Cluster
Similar to M52, this open cluster is relatively small. It looks good at 60x, but better at 120x, One if the distinct characteristics of this cluster is that it has 3 different colored stars in it. Many white, several blue, and a red one in the center. Cool.
Alberio - Double Star
Such a cool, wide open binary. A distinct larger, brighter star and a fainter one Beta Cygni next to it.
Fairy Ring - Star Group
I had nevver heard of this one before, but it was awesome. A ring of 8 binaries in a near perfect circle. each binary is essentially creating a small spoke in the "ring". They are so perfectly laid out, this group of binaries also looks planted.
M29 - Open Cluster
Pretty small in comparison to M39 and only a small number of stars. It looks kind of like a domino.
M39 - Open Cluster
This object is very large. It nearly filled my 32mm at 47x but completely filled my 25mm at 60x. Many bright stars in this open cluster.
M13 - Globular Cluster
Fascinating as always. The largest, brighhtest cluster I've seen to date. Simply beautiful.
M92 - Globular Cluster
I actually found this one with the 5.1mm (294x) which was pretty amazing. It was losing too much light to see it well though. I used the 25mm to make sure I had the right object, and I did. With the 25 you can see why it may be mistaken for a comet. At 167x mag though, it looked really cool, A few bright resolving stars, and many many dim ones.
M57 (Ring Nebula) - Planetary Nebula
Using the 9.5 and the UHC filter this object gets brighter and brighter as it rises in the Summer sky. The very distinct ring shape is supposedly lit by a star i the center that I have still not seen.
Epsilon Lyrae - Multiple Star
One of the coolest double stars I've seen yet. The closer you get, the more the binary splits each into it's own binary. Cery cool.
M56 - Globular Cluster
Pretty splotchy. A very small object. It took going to 300 power to get it to resolve the most stars, It looked pretty good at 167 power, but anything lower just looked like a fuzzball.
M14 - Globular Cluster
The light pollution from Portland was way too bright to see any detail in this object. It never became more than a slightly fuzzy patch in the sky.
M15 - Globular Cluster
Scanning the sky at 60 power I found this one. Very bright nucleus, Large fuzzy, little resolving at this power. At 167 power, it looked awesome. Much like M92 with at 90x, only with many more stars making up the core annd more stars making a fuzzy halo around the core. At this power I need to use averted vision in oder to see thhe resolved stars.
M76 (Little dumbbell) - Planetary Nebula
Very small, very faint in the 32mm with no filter. With the 9.5mm, it definitely looks like a little Dumbbell. It has a clear hourglass shaped core with fainter gases surrounding it just like M27.
I looked at a few other objects, M81, M82, NEAT Q4, Mizar and M27. Overall, an incredible night.