Saturday, March 21, 2009

March 20, 2009 Observing Report

Ahhhh! What a difference from Sunday. Seeing was great tonight. I set the scope up at 7:45pm and took a good peak at M42. It was great again. Could nicely make out the trap and quite a bit of nebulosity, thanks to averted vision. Man I could have studied it longer, but I had one child with wet hair on the floor upstairs and another in the shower, waiting for her bath.

Around 11pm I go to go back out. This is when the fun began. I began with the M81/82 combo, Bodes Galaxies. It took about 2-3 minutes to find and showed up well with the 25mm Sirius Plossl(24x). I have to admit that the 20mm of the set is quite useless. It had to be taken out of rotation. The 10mm Plossl(60x) worked rather well. I saw some decent shape in both galaxies. Next up was the TMB/BO 4mm Planetary(150x). Now I know that this was pushing it, but ma I had to try. Both galaxies showed up, but were very faint.

Up next was M101, the Pinwheel Galaxy. This one took about 10 minutes to find. It ws quite faint in all 3 eyepieces, with the 10mm showing me the best detail. I am glad to have found it in the 80ED, but now I am getting hungry for more aperture. After conquering M101, I moved over to M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy. This one only took 2 minutes to find, if that. Again, as with M101, the galaxy was faint, but I was able to see both cores and some of the spiral arms.

After all that deep sky success, I moved over to the ringed planet Saturn. This was the first time with the Orion 80ED scope and I was very happy. I was able to spend a few minutes with the TMB/BO 4mm and enjoyed the view like never before. It was even better on Saturn that when I last looked at Jupiter a couple of years back.

Well this was the end of a successful night and I can't wait to get out a bit earlier next time, when I can try M44 and the Christmas Tree Cluster. The one thing to take away from the viewing is the need for a more stable mount. I really had a hard time keeping all the views steady.

Objects seen:

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