5/05/2013 to 5/06/2013 Messier Observations

M53:

05/05/2013 8:47 PM ET
Just as the sky began to go completely dark. Seeing was okay. Located using the stars Arcturus and Muphrid, they point to it. Right under and to the left of the star alpha Com in the constellation Coma Berenices. Visible as a small white fuzz in the 25mm eyepiece that it was spotted with, 9mm barely improved the visibility.

sketch of M53:
M53

M64:

05/05/2013 9:12 PM ET
Not directly visible, had to use averted vision. 17mm eyepiece was best. Spotted with a 25mm eyepiece. Found by using the constellation Coma Berenices, it is in between the two “wing” stars, alpha Com and gamma Com, and directly across from beta Com (the center star).

sketch of M64:
M64

M5:

05/05/2013 9:30 PM ET
Very hard to spot, or rather, locate. Had to find using the tail star in the constellation Serpens, called mu Ser. It is a ways above it, using the 25mm eyepiece it falls into the FOV when you just tilt up from mu Ser. It was nice and easy to see with all eyepieces. The best was 17mm. Averted vision helped with separating the stars in the cluster.

sketch of M5:
M5

M10:

05/05/2013 11:45 PM ET

Located with 25mm eyepiece using the constellation Ophiucus, and the star zeta Oph. Best eyepiece was a 32mm that provided a wide field of view and other stars to focus on. It was fairly easy to locate, but appeared as a blurry white smudge.

sketch of M10:
M10

M12:

05/06/2013 12:00 AM ET
Fairly easy to locate once you’ve found M10 you can easily go straight up and find M12. Used same 32mm eyepiece. Many stars that are very faint were visible with averted vision. Seems to be a bit more diffuse than M10, but could have just been my eyes playing tricks on me.

sketch of M12:
M12

M107:

05/06/2013 12:31 AM ET
Located using the star zeta Oph in the constellation Ophiucus. Just barely visible when spotted using a 32mm eyepiece. Most useful eyepiece was 13mm.

sketch of M107:
M107

M9:

05/06/2013 12:40 AM ET
Located with a 32mm eyepiece which was near impossible to do. 17mm eyepiece allowed a little more visibility, but still near invisible. Appeared as a very faint fuzzy point.

sketch of M9:
M9

M23:

05/06/2013 1:00 AM ET
Very easy to see. Found using 17mm eyepiece, and the cluster fit nicely the 13mm’s FOV. Stars easily differentiable with much space between them compared to other clusters.

sketch of M23:
M23

M17:

05/06/2013 1:20 AM ET
Beautiful wispy nebulosity visible. Spotted with 32mm, 17mm gave best view. It rises in the sky directly below Ophiucus, the star nu Oph. Very easy to spot. Great time viewing this one!

sketch of M17:
M17

M18:

05/06/2013 1:40 AM ET
Found after locating M17, was easy to spot, but hard to tell it was a Messier object as it’s just a small little group of stars. Actually had to use Stellarium to get a visual of what it actually looked like to see if it was truly what I was viewing. A satellite passed right through it while I was observing.

sketch of M18:
M18

M24:

05/06/2013 1:50 AM
Almost too faint to see, just a slight hint of glow coming from the area. Definitely can’t see directly and can barely make out with averted vision. Tons of stars around it, too many to draw, so I only sketched the brightest ones. 6mm eyepiece used. Located by judging the distance between M17 and M18, with 32mm eyepiece, and nearly doubling that distance out past M18.

sketch of M24:
M24

M16:

05/06/2013 2:01 AM ET
Spotted using 32mm, easy to find below Ophiucus when it is rising. All that is visible are stars, with a slight bit of glow in the background. 9mm eyepiece was best.

sketch of M16:
M16

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