Posts from September 2002
The Dumbell Nebula
Well, tonight was a nice night for observing. Very clear, fairly warm… good stuff! I decided to go searching a little higher in the sky and found myself in Sagitta and Vulpecula. Initially, I tried for M71, a dense globular in Sagitta. But, for all the searching I did, I simply couldn’t find it! And I’m positive I looked in the right place. Very strange, since it’s only mag 7.0.
On a positive note, I found M27, aka, the Dumbbell Nebula tonight! This is a bright, 8th magnitude planetary nebula located in Vulpecula. It showed itself as a faint smudge against a starry background. I can’t say I really noticed the dumbbell shape. :) Still, very cool… my first nebula!
Wild Ducks and Other Things
Ahh… a cool night in Edmonton, but a good one, nonetheless. The sky was fairly clear tonight, and minus some clouds, observing conditions were not too bad. So, I nailed a couple more open clusters tonight. The first, M25, is a nice little sparse cluster in Scutum, and fairly close to the horizon. Definitely a pretty little cluster, with many bright stars.
The other big one, and the one I’ve been trying to get, was the Wild Duck Cluster, or M11 in the Messier Catalogue. This is an open cluster as well, although you wouldn’t know it to look at it. It’s so compact that, in my telescope, it looks very similar to a globular cluster, just a little less compact. But, with a relative magnitude of 5.8, it was visible even in binoculars. Definitely a sight to behold! My next hopeful is M22, a bright globular which is in Sagittarius. Perhaps tomorrow. :)