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Messier Observation List

This is a listing of my Messier object observations. Will use this to keep track of which objects I've seen, when, and what they looked like.

As of 8/2011 I have seen 40 of the 109 objects in the Messier catalog.

Next targets to find

M# / Name Type Date Comments
M001 - Crab Nebula Nebula 9/2007 Might have glimpsed this with binocs while observing Persieds. Nebulous patch above Taurus horn.
M003 - Globular in Canes Venatici Globular Cluster 8/2011 Easy find in the binocs, but not really visible in my 6x30 finder, which made it hard to locate in the scope. Ultimately located ~ 1/2 way between Arcturus in Bootes and Cor Caroli. Could start to resolve stars around the edges, seemed a little washed out likely because it was low in the western sky and suffered from some skyglow.
M004 - Globular in Scorpious Globular Cluster 7/2011 Barely visible in binocs, almost thought I was imagining it. Easily seen in 8" newt. Looks a lot like m13, but dimmer, likely because it sits so much lower in the sky.
M005 - Globular in Serpens Globular Cluster 8/2011 Easily visible in binocs, found much farther south of Unukalhal than expected. Barely visible in the finder. Beautiful in the scope, big and very granular, even at the core. Of note, unlike most globulars I've observed, this one seems to have stars extending out irregularly from the core, especially to the north and east.
M006 - Butterfly cluster Open Cluster 7/2011 Easily seen in binocs sharing same fov with m7. Smaller than m7, one pronounced reddish star, 20 or so bright stars, maybe another 20 or so fainter ones.
M007 - Ptolemy's cluster Open Cluster 7/2011 Chanced on this with the binoculars while scanning low on the horizon near sagittarius. Very nice open cluster, 30 or so bright stars.
M008 - Lagoon Nebula Diffuse Nebula/Open Cluster 7/2011 Seen in the binocs as one of several fuzzy patches above sagittarius in the binocs. One of my favorites in the area, the nebula is fairly bright and extends to the nearby open cluster NGC6530
M011 - Wild Duck Cluster Open Cluster 7/2011 Awesome! Big and incredibly dense for an open cluster. Too many stars to count. Looks like a very loose globular cluster. Obvious in binocs and finder.
M013 - Great Hercules Cluster Globular Cluster 5/2003 Saw this with 4" refractor at Dan's. Smaller and fainter than expected. Almost ghost like.
Update 7/2011 - saw for first time with 8" newt. Much bigger and granular than remembered. Still rather ghostlike in it's almost hollywood "spectral" color, but easily seen, even in binocs and the finder scope.
M015 - Globular Cluster in Pegasus Globular Cluster 7/2011 Very nice. Similar in birghtness to M13, maybe slightly smaller. Strangely could not locate in binocs, had to guess with charts and the telrad.
M016 - Eagle Nebula Diffuse Nebula/Open Cluster 7/2011 Of the two messier objects bracketing M17 (the other being M18), this was the nicer view. Easy find in the binocs next to M17. Observed primarily as a nice open cluster, although I thought I noted some nebulosity with averted vision.
M017 - Swan Nebula Diffuse Nebula 7/2011 Observed as one of the showpiece objects of sagittarius. Easy find in binocs. My observation notes match the text book "check mark" description of the nebula. Relatively bright. A favorite.
M018 - Open Cluster Open Cluster 7/2011 One of the two fainter Messier objects bracketing the more prominent M17. Smaller and with fewer stars than M16, no hint of nebulosity at all, but makes a nice site sharing the same FOV with M17 in my 32mm SWA eyepiece.
M019 - Globular Cluster in Ophicus Globular Cluster 7/2011 Barely visible in the binocs. Small and faint compared to nearby M22. Not a showpiece object.
M020 - Trifid Nebula Diffuse Nebula 7/2011 Seen as group with M21 in binocs as fuzzy patch. Nebula seen surrounding two brighter stars, bright enough to be observed with direct vision. Nicest in the scope when sharing FOV with open cluster M21.
M021 - Open Cluster Open Cluster 7/2011 Nice open cluster companion to M20, fits in same eyepiece FOV. The two together appeared as a fuzzy patch in the binocs making this easyish to find.
M022 - Globular Cluster Globular Cluster 7/2011 Easy to find in the binocs and finder scope. Of the two globulars near Kaus Borealis in sagittarius (the top of the teapot asterisim) this is much bigger and brighter. Comparable in size to M13, but dimmer because it sits so low in the sky. Seems a little less dense than M13, appearing more granular. Nice to look at, I'll need to remember to try and see it through a scope from a more southern lattitude someday (like maybe Hawaii!!!).
M023 - Open Cluster in Sagittarius Open Cluster 7/2011 Easy to find in the binocs and finder scope. Of the two globulars near Kaus Borealis in sagittarius (the top of the teapot asterisim) this is much bigger and brighter. Comparable in size to M13, but dimmer because it sits so low in the sky. Seems a little less dense than M13, appearing more granular. Nice to look at, I'll need to remember to try and see it through a scope from a more southern lattitude someday (like maybe Hawaii!!!).
M024 - Open Cluster in Sagittarius Open Cluster 7/2011 Easy find as a dense starry patch in the binocs nestled among M8 and M17 and M23. This is really too big and loose to be seen in the scope. Appears as two tiny equalateral triangles side by side surrounded by several fainter stars. Very pretty in the binocs.
M025 - Open Cluster in Sagittarius Open Cluster 7/2011 Sort of isolated to the west of the M17/M23/M24 group. Not as nice either, seen as small hazy patch in binocs resolved to loose cluster in scope.
M027 - Dumbbell Nebula Planetary Nebula 10/2007 Viewed with 8" Newt. Large and bright (relatively), but didn't really get the dumbbell or apple core shape. Nice to look at, much larger than the ring. Try again with barlowed 25mm ep for optimum exit pupil/magnification combo
M028 - Globular Cluster Globular Cluster 7/2011 Much smaller and fainter than its neighbot m22. Seemed comparable in size and brightness to m71 in sagitta, almost just a fuzzy star. Later confirmed that m28/m71 are comparable in size and although m28 is two magnitudes brighter it's position in the sky washes it out considerably, making my observation apt.
M029 - Open cluster in Cygnus Open Cluster 7/2011 Yawn!. In the newt at 37x seen as nice little grouping of stars, resembles the big dipper in shape, but otherwise unremarkable. Further reading indicates this may actually look better in the binocs. Will plan to revisit.
M031 - Andromeda Galaxy Galaxy 2003 Viewed with 8" Newt and 4" refractor. Best in Yosemite with Erika. Usually just see the bright core.
M032 - Andromeda Companion Galaxy 10/2007 Faint patch hovering near Andromeda. Saw for first time with Agena 32mm SWA in 8" Newt
M033 - Triangulum Galaxy Galaxy 11/2003 Saw in Yosemite with Erika in 4" Refractor. Faint fuzzy patch. Never been able to see again
M044 - Beehive Cluster Open Cluster 11/2003 Erika picked this out with Binocs in Yosemite. Dense open cluster
M045 - Pleaidies Open Cluster 2003 Best with Binocs, although it's mostly visible in the Agena 32mm SWA eyepiece in the 8" newt. A wider FOV/Lower mag would frame it better
M051 - Whirlpool Galaxy Spiral Galaxy 7/2011 Could only locate this in the scope by roughly guessing location with telrad and then scanning around. Located farther from Alkaid than expected. Very faint, really only visible with averted vision. Thought I could possibly see two seperate brighter cores surrounded by an oblong haze. Observations closely matched sketch seen in Turn Left at Orion book.
M057 - Ring Nebula Planetary Nebula 2004 First seen in 4" Refractor later in 8" Newt. Quite small, hollow center is visible with averted vision. Like the view best at low power where it can be seen as a tiny ghost floating among the stars.
M062 - Globular in Ophicus Globular Cluster 7/2011 Barely binoc visible, ~ same size as M19, but brighter even though lower in sky. SEDS website confirms.
M063 - Galaxy in Canes Venatici Galaxy 8/2011 Small fuzzy patch ~ half way between Cor Caroli and Alkaid. Will need to try this again when it's higher in the sky from a darker site. Not visible in binocs or finder, found by scanning upwards from Cor Caroli towards Alkaid.
M071 - Globular in Sagitta Globular Cluster 10/2007 Found while hunting for M27 in 8" Newt. Very faint, thought I saw a smokey nebulous patch. Checked later and turns out it was M071. Not very impressive, easy to find though. (7/2011) still easy to find, looks like a blurry star.
M080 - Globular in Scorpious Globular Cluster 7/2011 As globulars go, I'd say this was similar to m92 but fainter. Likely due to position in the sky. Easy find, but only with the telescope.
M081 - Bode's Galaxy in Ursa Major Spiral Galaxy 8/2011 Not visible with binocs or finder. Faint, oblong smokey patch, core maybe slightly brighter than surrounding. Pretty faint, likely washed out by skyglow. Try again earlier in the season when it's higher up. Fit in same 32mm eyepiece FOV as M82.
M082 - Galaxy in Ursa Major Irregular Galaxy 8/2011 Not visible with binocs or finder. Faint, linear smokey patch, possibly thickening in the center. Not really visible with direct vision, averted vision needed to see. Pretty faint, likely washed out by skyglow. Try again earlier in the season when it's higher up. Fit in same 32mm eyepiece FOV as M81.
M092 - Globular in Hercules Globular Cluster 07/2011 This took a little while to find with the newt. Thought I saw it in the binocs, but had trouble tracking it down in the scope. Looks like a mini version of M13, maybe not as bright. Nice to look at. Easy find observing a few days later now that I know where to look.
M094 - Galaxy in Canes Venatici Galaxy 08/2011 Lucked onto this simply by pointing scope between Cor Caroli and Beta CVn and scanning upward between them. Very faint, not visible in binocs or finder. Shows simply as very small bright nebulous patch.
M103 - Open cluster - Cassiopia Open Cluster 10/2007 Much smaller than expected. Up to this point I thought all open clusters were as large as the Pleadies and Beehive. Interesting triangular shape. Had I not been looking for it I wouldn't have guessed this as a Messier object
M110 - Andromeda Companion Galaxy 10/2007 Faint patch hovering near Andromeda. Saw for first time with Agena 32mm SWA in 8" Newt
Non-Messier Objects of interest
NGC6712 - Globular in Scutum Globular Cluster 7/2011 Stumbled on while searching for M26. Very faint, surprised this wasn't in the Messier catalog.
IC4665 - Open Cluster in Ophicus Open Cluster 7/2011 Seen in binoculars, looks a lot like M24.
C/2009 P1 (Garradd) Comet 8/2/2011 Seen in same FOV as M15. Faint compared to the Glob, seen as elongated fuzzy patch with bright core.
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