Date Time: September 15, 2015 2200-0000hrs AST
Weather: Clear, warm, humid 15C throughout evening. No wind to some gusty breezes. No mosquitoes, some dew on everything but the mirrors and lenses.
Attendance: Ed O, Steven T, and David M.
Equipment: Stevens' 20" Dobsonion Telescope with eyepiece, a green light laser pointer in a large 1 meter long holder and a stepladder to reach it. My tripod mounted 20x80 binoculars, Canon Rebel Xsi camera with 18-55mm lens and a Sky & Telescope's Pocket Atlas.
Objective: To view as many Messier Objects as possible while we were having a rare clear evening.
- Thirteen Messier Objects and one famous double star viewed between us: M28, M25, and M8 around Sagittarius. M31, M32 and M110 around The Andromeda Galaxy. M13 and M92 in Hercules. Double star Alberio in Cygnus. M71 and M27 in Sagitta, M57 in Lyra, M33 in Pisces and M45 in Taurus. Two first timers for me(M92 and M33) and one for Ed (M71).
- Ed and I viewed M8 through the binoculars. It was partially behind a tree in the yard. Very colorful with mostly reddish nebulosity viewable with some bluish tinges. According to Burnham's Celestial Handbook, "This is the 'Lagoon Nebula' in Sagittarius, one of the finest of the diffuse nebulae, located about 4.7 degrees west and slightly north from Lambda Sagittarii in the handle of the 'Milk Dipper', and plainly visible to the naked eye as a glowing comet-like patch just off the main stream of the Sagittarius Milky way."
- Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy M110 was viewed by Ed and I in big scope. Small faintish Galaxy with bright, star-like core.
- Ed viewed M32 through big scope, we both viewed M31 through big scope and I viewed it through binoculars also. M31 was huge in binos.
- M13 and M92 were observed by all three of us in big scope. Many stars could be seen across the face of the great Globular Cluster. We agreed that it looked like a bird shot shotgun blast pattern on a paper target. This was my first time observing M92!
- Ed found M71 with some help from my Pocket Atlas and the laser pointer. All three of us viewed it through the big scope. A faint, odd looking Globular Cluster that appears to be behind a see-through wall of closer stars. This was a first timer for Ed! According to Burnham's Celestial Handbook, "...about midway between Delta and Gamma Sagittae, but somewhat south of a line joining them. M71 is a rich and compact cluster of faint stars, of uncertain type, lying in the Milky Way about 10 degrees north of Altair."
- M27 Dumbbell Nebula was found after some searching and help from the Pocket Atlas. All three of us viewed this and commented on how bright it was.
- M57 in Lyra was observed by all three of us. The cloudy smoke circle looked best with averted vision.
- M45 was seen naked eye by all three of us. At 2345, it was just then rising above the trees in the East.
- M33 was located after some searching and help from the Pocket Atlas. Ed and I thought we could see some spiraling towards the middle of this large but sort of faint Galaxy. The spirals seemed to appear when the scope was moved around a little while viewing through the eyepiece.
- Two faint shooting stars were seen, no satellites were seen and many planes were flying over-head during the Observing period.