(IAAC) M51, 16", suburban skies

Observer:  Todd Gross
Your skill:  Intermediate +
Date and UT of observation:  1/15/97
Location & latitude: Boston, Ma. 42.3N
Site classification: Suburban
Limiting magnitude (visual): 5.2
Seeing (1 to 5 - best to worst):  2
Moon up (phase?):  no
Instrument:  16" Truss Tube Dob, exc. optics, enhanced coatings, 3.1" secondary
Magnification: 170x
Filters used: none
Object:  M51, Whirlpool nebula
Category:  Galaxy
Constellation: Near big dipper
Object data: 
In this scope, I was able to see it's the face-on spiral nature in suburban
skies. A few stars were superimposed on top of the Galaxy. Spiral dark lanes
clearly wrapped into the nebula in the classic fashion. This was especially
evident with averted vision, but could be detected to some degree straight
on. The associated NGC galaxy, attached, was particularly prominent.
There was a complete connection between it and the main body of the galaxy.
The was very much like the photos, but not nearly as prominent as
photography or CCD imagery. Same animal, but still visually challenging.

Thanks! - Todd
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