as of 10/22/2021 11:18 p.m.
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|Size||21 arc min|
|Catalog Designations||NGC3031, M81|
|Discovered||1774 Johann Bode|
The following form will generate a PDF finder chart suitable for printing using to locate objects in the sky with your telescope!
The Date is only really useful for solar system objects, as deep space objects move measurably only on a galactic timescale.
The larger the F.O.V (field of view), the more "zoomed out" the object will appear. It can be helpful to print several charts of the same object with different field of views.
Limiting the magnitude (remember, lower magnitude means brighter!) of stars and objects can make sure your chart is not cluttered with dim objects that you may not be visible to you anyway. The defaults are good, but try experimenting with raising and lowering the values.
Chased a few DSOs prior to the moon rise. Bode's Galaxy/Cigar Galaxy are once again high enough to clear the treeline from my observing site. Bode's galaxy is a nice faint face-on galaxy, but without any details in my suburban site. The Cigar galaxy shows mottling at higher magnification even in less than dark skies.
Both M81/82 fit into a single wide FOV eyepiece for a nice site on a chilly evening.
I knew M81 and M82 were good targets, but despite them never setting at my latitude, I had never tried to observe them until now.
I began the search at twilight while the sky was still fairly bright. I scanned the area above the line that connects Dubhe and the adjacent star that makes up the bear's "head" (Ursa Major) for any hints of smudges. No such luck. I then decided just to bring out the scope and put my wide FOV eyepiece in. After a few minutes 2 not so faint smudges showed up in my field of view: Bode's Galaxy and the Cigar Galaxy.
Bode's galaxy appears as a fairly high magnitude face on galaxy. No features visible. Scarce background stars. Averted vision shows a brighter core surrounded by diffuse light.
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