(IAAC) Obj: Mini Messier Marathon - Inst: Orion 8 inch DSE, 10 x 50 Nikon Lookout Binos


Observer: Penny Fischer
Your skills: Intermediate (some years)
Date/time of observation: 7-9:30 p.m. ET
Location of site: Central NJ USA (Lat 40 N, Elev )
Site classification: Suburban
Sky darkness: 4.5 <Limiting magnitude>
Seeing: 7 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Moon presence: None - moon not in sky
Instrument: Orion 8 inch DSE, 10 x 50 Nikon Lookout Binos
Magnification: 47X and 94 X  {2X barlow}
Object(s): Mini Messier Marathon
Category: Other
Constellation: Many
Data: mag   size 
Position: RA :  DEC :
Started my mini Messier at sunset. As I am not going to do it all
night (as some astronomers do late in March!) I wanted to list what I
did see in two and a half hours of observing.

Skies were exceptionally clear tonight.  I was hoping to get to our
dark sky site for our regular observing, but had to stay here in my
very surburban backyard.  Still, the conditions were quite clear, no
moon, and very little upper level turbulence.

Objects seen in order were: M42, 43, 44, 45, 35, 36, 37, 38, 103, 41,
78, 50,1,46, 47, 81, 82.

A few footnotes here... I tried and tried for M33, M32, and
M31. Conditions were so soupy and twilight washed in that area that in
this surburban site with trees it was impossible as was a stab at M74
and M79.  Also, could not locate M51 tonight with my Dob but have
found this galaxy impossible and have not found it at all since moving
here over a year ago.

However, would like to note that MANY of the above mentioned objects
were found with binoculars, using close to the same power that Messier
probably did as well as Mechain on their discovery sessions...M81 and
82 were found using a bit of imagination with binoculars and then
confirmed telescopically...M1 was found using binoculars only as this
nebula gets very washed out under scope views.

Also seen although not Messier was the Rosette Nebula and Christmas
tree cluster.  Also, the large open cluster of Coma Berenices.  I
would say the prettiest object tonight was M50.

Also of note (and I promise this is it!) was the fact that there was a
lot of nebulosity surrounding almost all major stars in the
constellation Orion tonight.

Anyone else trying for this Marathon?  Mine was just a mini, would
love to hear about other ones.

Happy spring everyone :)

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