Wednesday, 8 June 2016

The Plough revisited.

"from that celestial Dipper, or so I thought the dews were poured out gently upon the summer world..."
B.F. Taylor

I recently acquired a 305mm/f5 "light bucket" called Oscar. It's a beast of scope!... I'm  reminded of the "Leviathan" of Birr Castle whenever I set it up in the garden!

With this larger aperture I plan to travel further out into the Universe and touch some of those elusive faint fuzzy blobs I kept seeing in my smaller telescopes.

I thought I would start this journey by taking a Messier tour of the objects around Ursa Major, specifically those near the asterism of the Plough.

Being that the nights are now shorter, and that the sky background never seems to darken, I wonder what I will see of those faint fuzzy blobs?

Hopefully over the next week or so I will be able to observe the following "Plough" Messier objects: 

M-81 - Bodes Galaxy. I've observed this galaxy within the field of my old Schmidt C8 as a distinctive, dim, interesting fuzzy image, but very little else.

M-82 - Not as impressive as M81, but then last time I saw it I was using an f10 Schmidt; plus the conditions that night weren't that good. I wonder how the extra aperture will fare?

M-97 - The Owl Nebula. I have no idea what Oscar will reveal of this nebula, having never seen it with such a large aperture.

Hopefully I will be able to see it in the same field of view as M108. I can't wait to turn the "Leviathan" onto this nebula... wonder if I'll see the owl's face!

M-101 - The Pinwheel Galaxy. I've never seen this one in a large scope.....

M-108 - Can't wait to observe this galaxy with the Owl nebula in the same field of view.

M-109 - Again, I have no idea what Oscar will reveal...!

M-51- The Whirlpool Galaxy. I know the Whirlpool isn't in the constellation of Ursa Major, but given that it's so close to the Plough I just had to add it to the list.

I've often seen the Whirlpool in smaller scopes, usually as two distinctive fuzzy patches of ethereal light. Last time was with a 150mm/f8 reflector, I wonder what the larger aperture will reveal?

Ursa Major - Celestial Atlas by Alexander Jamieson - 1822

As soon as I have some observational notes I will post my findings on the blog. 

Clear Skies, and roll on more warm summer nights.


No comments:

Post a Comment