05/07/2013 Messier Observations

The night started off with some light scattered clouds, but turned out to be very nice and clear. I’m fairly pleased with the amount of objects I was able to view tonight.

M106:

Found using Ursa Major, the star Phad, and the constellation Canes Venatici, the star Chara. It was approximately between the two. Seeing was decent, light pollution moderate to low. Spotted with the 25 mm eyepiece, and 17 mm gave best view. It appears as little more than a faint white dust, nearly invisible.

sketch of M106:
M106

M109:

Found right next to the star Phad in the constellation Ursa Major. Spotted the area it is in with 17 mm, but switched to 9 mm, as it was not visible in the 17 mm. In the 9 mm, it still was not readily visible, other than what seemed to be a ghostly transparent appearance of it out of the corner of my eye on occasion. Sketched with 13 mm eyepiece.

sketch of M109:
M109

M63:

Very hard to locate, it was like I could tell something was there, but wasn’t sure if it was what I was looking for. Eventually had to consult Stellarium to get some nearby stars as reference. Most useful eyepiece was 13 mm, found in 25 mm by using the constellation Ursa Major’s star Alkaid as a pointer. It appeared as a faint oblong oval shape. Clouds kept rolling over it so I would lose it and have to wait until it was clear again to continue. I can just barely make out a faint source of light form within the object.

sketch of M63:
M63

M94:

More visible than M63. Found using the constellation Canes Venatici. It was directly under it. Fairly easy to locate using 17 mm eyepiece. 13 mm gave best view, but still only a small white fuzz, with a bright center.

sketch of M94:
M94

M59 & M60:

Found by using the star Vindematrix. Had to use Stellarium to make sure what I was looking at was actually M59. Both M59 and M60 fit into view. Found with 17 mm eyepiece, and it was the most useful overall.

sketch of M59 & M60:
M59-M60

M14:

Found relatively quickly and easily. About center-left and below the two stars in Ophiucus, Cebalrajand Sabik. Makes a perpendicular line to those two stars with the star gamma Oph. Found using a 17mm eyepiece, but it was still visible in even the 32mm. Best eyepiece was the 17mm.

sketch of M14:
M14

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