Saturday, April 21, 2012

Messier Hunting 2012-04-20

It was a Friday night and the sky was exceptionally clear. With this kind of rare condition and timing, I surely won't waste the opportunity to image something. I took out my 80mm f/5 short tube scope on a CG-4 mount and did a quick polar alignment.As I didn't have a polar scope, my polar alignment definitely needs some fine tuning, Then I started hunting some good deep sky jewels. My first target was the Whirlpool galaxy in Canes Venatici. I usually associate this target with the constellation Ursa major and the Big dipper asterism because I always use the dipper handle to find this target.

After a bunch of 25 seconds shots, I switched to my next Messier target, the globular cluster M5 in Serpens.

Then the easy to find M4 and finally M8 and M17.

M4, the Cat's eye globular cluster

M8, the Lagoon Nebula in Sagittarius

M17, the Swan or Omega Nebula

While imaging, I was also scanning the sky with my 15x70 binoculars. The summer sky is littered with good astro targets for binoculars. You'll almost never run out of targets to observe with a simple binocular even in a not-so-dark location. The imaging session was long and tiring. My session ended at half-past-two in the morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment