Messier List Observations Mel Bartels

Here are my observations of the Messier list as seen through the 24" telescope. These observations were done in conjunction with the EAS's Messier hunt in 1987-8.

M1-with oxygen-III filter Filaments were seen; can't describe or draw all the squiggles visible; obvious dark areas; oval shape predominates over "S" shape

M2-classic globular; centered look; strongly resolved; very bright

M3-many, many stars; next to Omega Centauri this is my most favorite; bright triangle of stars in middle

M4-double bar of interrupted stars across middle; almost too much magnification at 250X

M5-more condensed them M3; off-center nucleus; streamers of stars; bright core; 3-D affect

M6-fits well into 4/5 degree field of view; chains of stars; Christmas tree near center; nicest at low powers

M7-bigger than M6 with a bit brighter individual stars; the "butterfly" cluster

M8-could see all of faintest nebulosity; 3 big groups of nebulosity; star embedded in brightest part of nebulosity

M9-intense; easily resolved; smallish; impressive

M10-one of the "big" ones; much like M5 only brighter; stars spread out through same sized nucleus as M5

M11-superb grouping of strong stars; dark lanes nearby

M12-a lttle dimmer than M10; crab-like; several bright stars surround

M13-excellent! best impression of 3 black lanes at 360X; the grandfather of clusters

M14-not bright but still very beautiful because of the tightness of stars; many, many stars; oval shaped E-W

M15-beautiful globular cluster; nucleus is 3 bright stars N-S

M16-cathedral portion (black fingers in middle of nebula) impressive with UHC filter; doesn't look like "eagle" though all of nebulosity visible

M17-lots of detail; swirls nicknamed the Flying dragon; filters help slightly

M18-bright; but stars are small numbered in count

M19-pancake shaped globular; brightens to star-like nucleus; straggly stars;

M20-extension to E strong; 2 stars next to double stars; more like 4 lanes rather than 3

M21-nice; sparse open cluster

M22-great view; fills whole field; looks dense and tight, especially backgroundish stars unlike the more open view in smaller scopes

M23-nice; modest # of stars; like spilled salt

M24-nice open cluster in very rich star-Field; star cloud of M24 nice to see because of rich-field effect

M25-nicer; bigger; more stars than M18

M26-sparse open cluster with bright star

M27-spectacular; arcs pointed; dimn extensions; nebulosity overwhelms embedded stars; brighter upper curved part has black indentations

M28-more spread than M80; nucleus is bar shaped; easily resolved

M29-8 equally bright stars; fainter ones scattered inside

M30-4 chains of star dragging behind; resolved; off-center nucleus

M31-dusty nucleus; nucleus has small definite size; nucleus very bright compared to rest of galaxy; several spiral arms; many objects in the galaxy such as globular clusters, open clusters and associations an dindividual stars identified on previous observing sessions

M32-bright nucleus; elliptical extension

M33-"S" shaped spiral; big; diffuse; has identified many internal objects and nebulosities previously

M34-too big for 24"; spreads out of field of view; even magnitude stars often double up; streaks of stars

M35-so bright and beautiful; curved chains; "Albireo" type double; companion cluster interesting: resolved triangular globular cluster with different magnitude stars

M36-sparse; stringy; looks like man with outstretched arms

M37-nice; many stars; Fits well into field of view of 24"; bright star in center

M38-between M36 and M37 in appearance; somewhat stringy; NGC 1907 resolved easily

N39-just Fits into 24" field of view which is 4/5 degree at low power; very bright stars

M41-very big; has bright red-orange star

M42-view through 24" dynamic; alive; complete loop of gas detailed; color visible; 6 stars in Trapezium

M43-has dark areas following curves

M44-beautiful; stars in groups; just fits into 60X field of view

M45-Pleiades; nebulosity around Merope and other stars over-fills field of view

M46-has nice planetary inside the open cluster

M47-interesting brightness (3 in a row) and combinations of patterns; very varied

M48-open cluster; central bar of stars; elongated perpendicularly

M49-next to star; this galaxy looks like unresolved globular with wider fainter section surrounding nucleus

M50-uniform magnitude stars; chains (not curved) give "flying bird" impression

M51-one of most impressive views in 24"; serrated inside edges of spiral arms

M52-open cluster; fair number of stars; evenly spaced together; bright star off-center

M53-nice; big; widely resolved globular

M54-very compact; bright core; resolved; not as big as expected

M55-excellent! big; many stars of 2 different brightnesses; not very compact

M56-resolved; some chains of stars; strong tight nucleus; nice

M57-central star; fuzzy edges on end; color; galaxy nearby

M58-structure; black lanes-nice! galaxy; 2 spiral arms; mostly face-on

M59-some detail present; oblongish

M60-nice with interesting field; companion is nice, bigger fuzzy; surrounding galaxies noted

M61-most beautiful; spiral structure that has big, obvious condensations embedded; each arm detailed

M62-very nice; like M13 in a smaller scope

M63-fairly bright oval with bright star-like nucleus; seen in bright twilight; called the "sunflower"

M64-beautiful black curl with fainter curl further out

M65-brighter than M101

M66-moderate detail; NGC galaxy nearby has big dust lane that is nice

M67-beautiful; many stars in busy, metropolitan grouping; faint stars at edge

M68-impressive at high power; brighter stars fill entire field of view; nucleus resolved which has tigher, fainter stars

M69-resolved; big; bright; loose

M70-splash of not many stars; curved arc across top

M71-nice; spread out; not too condensed; without background glow of unresolved stars this object would be good sized looking open cluster

M72-resolved; burping out big fat chain of stars that's curved

M73-3 wide stars; Fits into 135X, 20 arc minute field of view

M74-counter clockwise face-on spiral; bright fuzzy nucleus

M75-very pretty; many, many faint stars tightly surrounding very bright core; 3 different brightnesses of stars; very compact

M76-double lobed with curved extensions off ends; lobes squarish; called the "dogbone" by Rob Adams

M77-Face on spiral shows spiral structure despite nearness to moon; good blackness between nucleus and spiral arms

M78-spectacular; 2 bright stars with black arm nearly inbetween; sweeping fan shape; star to N has nebulosity also

M79-resolved; bright; tight; good number of stars; good cluster for the 24"

M80-nice; classical looking globular except that one side is attenuated

M81-two nice spiral arms; strongly delineated but thin

M82-dramatic detail as in photographs

N83-bright Fuzzy nucleus; 2-3 spiral arms

M84-much like M86, ie, very big fuzzy blob; 6 galaxies in one field of view

M85-big; surprisingly bright, but smaller companion which is oblongish-identified as NGC 4394

M86-very big; very fuzzy blob; edge-on spirals nearby

M87-big; elliptically shaped elliptical galaxy

M88-big; oblong; one side of spiral arms distorted; prominent black lanes

M89-star nearby; smaller; very even blob of light

M90-beautiful; long glow; pinpoint nucleus shimmers at 85X

M92-excellent; should have more notice; 3 bars of bright star across middle; symmetrical

M93-rocket shaped; small; bright; easily distinguished from background

M94-dense galaxy; fuzzy; no particular shape; seen in twilight

M95-fuzzy blob in heavy twilight; bar and spiral structure evident when skies darker

M96-curved dust lane visible

M97-two eyes- doubled dark areas; filters don't help much under good conditions

M98-big, long, narrow streak; star-like nucleus; star embedded

M99-face on spiral; good detail showing 2 mottled spiral arms

M100-very big; even, low brightness spiral structure hard to see; very bright, big, fuzzy nucleus

M101-nice, fat spiral pattern; much detail; ends of arms like gloved

M102 (NGC 5866)- nice edge-on spiral with pencil thin dust lane

M103-smallish; triangular shaped group; bright star at apex; not many stars; varied magnitudes

M104-dust lane; fills field of view at 250X; star-like nucleus; fuzzy edges; dusty or dusky view

M105-good show! also in same field of view at 85X is NGC 3384 and NGC 3389

M106-big, amorphous; large, fuzzy nucleus that's not too bright; seen in twilight

N107-nucleus stands out sharply; best lines of stars in outlying areas

M108-"city" like detail; very busy

M109-fainter than M108; edge-on flying saucer shape