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Deepsky with a 12 inch dob

Last night I observed a few deepsky objects with a fellow observer, Joop Wiersma, using his 12-inch f /4 Orion Optics UK Newton on a home-build Dobson mount. The conditions where terrible. We had sky-glow right into the zenith, due to the moist atmosphere.  We still enjoyed viewing some deep sky objects from

my light-polluted backyard. We started of with M51 and NGC 5195 in Canes Venatici. Both the cores, and a part of the disk of M51 where visible with direct vision. With averted vision the beginning of a spiral arm could be detected. Next on the list was M3, a beautiful globular cluster, again in Canes Venatici. It was very easy to spot. Just move in a straight line from Arcturus to Alpha Canum Venaticorum. Just before you cover the distance half way, you should be able to spot M 3 through the finder as a faint smudge of light. The cluster was very well resolved, almost right to the middle, using a 7mm Nagler.

After M 3 we went for another globular cluster, the most spectacular for many observers on the northern hemisphere, M 13 in Hercules. This one really looked beautiful. Again with the 7mm Nagler, the globular cluster was almost resolved completely right into the core. There where several larger chains of stars visible, sticking out of the globular like “spider legs”. With my 8-inch, I only see a few of these spider legs under very good observing conditions (from my backyard). We ended our short observing session around 0:30 UT with M 57, the Ring Nebula in Lyra. What I noticed was the the area within the ring itself is sort of grey or white, but still appears slightly transparent. With my 8 inch I only see the ring itself.

For me it was the first time I could observe from my own backyard with a larger telescope. I hope to try it again under some better conditions in the next few months!

Posted by Math on 03/27 at 10:26 AM
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