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Observations 11/04/2021: Still can't see M101

4 weeks 1 day ago - 4 weeks 1 day ago #110132 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Observations 11/04/2021: Still can't see M101 was created by Until_then-Goodnight!
Hi All,

When I logged into the Forum to post my report this afternoon, I was delighted to see that Aubrey and Paul were out last night too. So, I'm really looking forward to reading what they observed as their reports are always so good.

In terms of what I observed or didn't as was the case this morning, I still had great fun searching for M101. My session started around 22:30UT by watching some YouTube videos on Ursa Major - I really like those found on the the 'What's in the Night Sky', and 'The Sky at Night channels'. Both channels provide excellent monthly overviews, but in recent months, I have become interestingly interested in watching and listening to Paul Evans. I find his videos particularly enjoyable.

In addition to watching some YouTube videos, I used 'Starry Night 7' to chart a route to M101. The route I decided on would start from Alcor and Mizar, then to Ursae Majoris 81, 83, 84, and 86. From here I would keep my eye out for a square-shaped asterism containing the following stars: HIP68271, HIP68196, TYC-3852-142-1, and HIP 68332. These four stars range in magnitude from 6.93 - 8.84. So, considering that 'Starry Night 7' estimates the apparent magnitude of M101 at 8.50, I felt I would be able to see some of the Galaxy. What's more, knowing that astronomical sketchers such as Jeremy Perez have illustrated this Galaxy using an 8" NF, I was confident I'd locate it. But despite using different magnifications, and spending a considerable time looking through the eyepiece I saw nothing. All was not lost though, because the enjoyment I got from starhopping was great fun. What is more, 83 Ursae Majoris is a beautiful colourful star. It is reported that it's a Red Giant Star - to me it was more of a dark orange.

Other nice stars I observed this morning - I was out in the back garden from approximately 23:30UT - 01:30UT - were found in a loose grouping of stars bordering the 'Great Bear'. These stars included: 82 Ursae Majoris, HIP6670, HIP66684, HIP 66735 HIP66740, HIP66840, and TYC385-512-1.

So, it seems like Aubrey was spot on when he said "M101 is probably impossible to observe from light polluted Dublin". Therefore, the first object I'm going looking for when we return to dark skies is Messier 101.

Until then, clear skies to all.

Darren.

Oh, I forgot to mention that as I was about to call it a night, I could see my favourite constellation rising in the North-East.  With my 2" 30mm eyepiece I had to have a quick look at Vega. It sure does blaze in the night sky. When I returned indoors I made myself some toast and listened to Gluck. Next night I'm out I reckon it will be some 'Dark Side of the Moon' 
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4 weeks 1 day ago #110135 by flt158
Hello, Darren. 

Thank you for your report. 
I have to say I had learnt about your orange star 83 Ursae Majoris - oh about - 40 years ago in the last century!
And something tells me it was the late and very great Sir Patrick Moore who informed the world about it on "The Sky at Night" TV show. Sure who else was there around at that time? 

Over on Simbad, 83 UMa has a spectral class of M2III. 
And my Guide 9.1 DVD completely agrees with that. 

It's also great to see we have another "Square" in the sky apart from the big one of Pegasus. 

Clear skies from Aubrey.  
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4 weeks 1 day ago #110137 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Observations 11/04/2021: Still can't see M101
HI Aubrey,

Great to hear from you. I wonder how many people got started in the hobby because of Sir Patrick? I reckon we'd have to call NASA to work out the math : ) 

Funny you mention the Square of Pegasus, because I have just discovered that there is another M2III star in flying horse>

Kindest regards,

Darren.


 
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4 weeks 1 day ago #110138 by lunartic
Replied by lunartic on topic Observations 11/04/2021: Still can't see M101
Hi Darren

M101 is a very low surface brightness galaxy, when you get to the right field, don't go too high with the magnification, give the tube a gentle tap while keeping your eye on the spot where the galaxy should be.  Tapping the tube will allow the light to enter the more sensitive parts of the eye, I have tried this in the past and found it works, most of the time anyway.

Paul
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Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.

Rich Cook
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4 weeks 1 day ago - 4 weeks 1 day ago #110139 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Observations 11/04/2021: Still can't see M101
Hi Paul,

Very many thanks for your advice. I did see a surface brightness figure that was higher than the apparent magnitude figure of the Galaxy when looking through 'Starry Night 7', but I was not sure of what surface brightness meant, and how it relates to apparent and visual magnitude. It seems from your message that the surface brightness is an an important factor when one wants to see an object. For this reason, I'll have a read around surface brightness over the next few days. More importantly, I am looking forward to trying out the technique you mention next night I'm out.

Cheers Paul,

Darren.
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