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Observation Report
Roseville, Wednesday, May 16, 2001

by: Mike Conley

While I'm still waiting for my first chance to view from dark skies I keep at it in light polluted Roseville. Perhaps Mag 4 at zenith between clouds.

Orion XT8 8" f/6 Dobsonian
EP's 7mm, 10mm (65*fov), 21mm (85*fov) Harry Siebert, 32mm Plossel and 2xBarlow. The Harry Siebert EP's are new for me and I thouroughly enjoy them. The eye relief is tight (7mm advertised) but comfortable and I find it easier to keep my eye in the right place with them than the 32mm longer eye relief Plossel.

I get home from work between 1:00 and 3:00 am so if the sky is clear I usually try to see whatever I can. This time it was partly cloudy and the weather satellite showed what looked like a clear area moving toward Roseville from the NW so I set up to look in between the clouds hoping for really clear sky.

I was hoping to start galaxy hunting between Leo and Virgo but the clouds decided that was a cool place to hang out too so I moved to Vega sitting there in a clear patch of sky.

M57 Planetary Nebula - Was easy to find in the parallelagram in Lyra and 342x (7mm 2xbarlow) worked best by making it big enough to see detail and making the light polluted skies appear darker although focusing was a bit challenging. I was able to see the darker center but not the star.

Double Double - I heard a suggestion on the svas group to check out the double double near Vega so I gave it a try and was able to see both pairs Epsilon Lyra 1a/1b and 2a/2b at 342x although it was a stretch for my eyes to see.

M56 Globular Cluster in Lyra - Was best viewed with at 171x (7mm) and I was able to make out several stars individually out of the cloud.

M26 Open Cluster in Cygnus - This has become a benchmark group for me to measure what magnitude I can see through my telescope. The patterns stand out to me and with Starry Night Pro software I can pick out the fintest star and see what magnitude it is. Tonight I could barely make out mag 11.0. I wonder what this(everything) looks like in dark skies I can only imagine.

Mars - With clouds moving into Lyra I turned to Mars which now had it's turn in a clear patch of sky and was suprised at how much detail I could see. At 342x there was quite a bit of turbulence but I was definitely able to see a darker region starting at the 1:00 position and moving across 2/3 of the disk (newtonian view) but I was not able to see the moons.

M8 Lagoon Nebula in Sagittarius - I could see some nebulosity and lots of stars. This must be awsome in a big telescope.

M20 Trifid Nebula in Sagittarius - I could see lots of stars but no nebulosity.

M21 Open Cluster - Also showed lots of stars.

M17 Omega Nebula - Displayed noticible nebulosity but no color. It was a real treat to view.

M18 Open Cluster showed lots of stars.

M16 Eagle Nebula in Serpens Cauda - Showed lots of stars but no nebulosity.

More clouds moved in so I turned my attention to area around Ursa Major.

M51 - Spiral Gaxaxy in Canes Venatici - It wasn't to hard to find but only showed up as 2 small smudges. More magnification didn't help here.

By 3:50 am I noticed Cassiopeia rising and took a look for Andromeda.

M31 and M32 - Andromeda - This appeared as big and little smudge. I was hoping for a better but the seeing conditions were not cooperating.

All in all it was a fun evening.

Clear Skies,

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