Deep Sky Observations with eVscope - Messier-Marathon March 2020

Introduction | Observation Overview | List of Observed Deep Sky Objects | Collage of Observed Deep Sky Objects | References

Note: See page Overview of the eVscope Pages for just that!

 

Introduction

At the beginning of spring, Messier marathons are held all over the world publicly or privately. The goal is to observe as many Messier objects as possible in one night; the maximum number of objects is 110 (some people also speak of 109 objects...). To achieve this goal, you need not only a dark sky but also about 10 hours of time, from about 8 p.m. in the evening until almost 6 a.m. the next morning (or from sunset to sunrise), in order to approach (almost) all objects and observe them briefly. To enable observers to use this time optimally, observation plans are published, which can be used for organizing the observations. I had received such a plan for example from Oculum-Verlag by e-mail. In the meantime, however, the whole affair is no longer seen that strictly. So you may spread the Messier marathon over several days or even a week. There is also the "half-marathon", where you are allowed to limit yourself to a subset of the objects - particularly if you do not want to observe the whole night long.

Since there were already quite a few eVscope owners in March 2020, Unistellar called on them to take part in a Messier marathon organized by them and to report on their observations via social media. The eVscope owners were given one week, from March 19, 2020 to March 26, 2020 for this task. A man from Finnland managed to observe 85 Messier objects with the eVscope in only three , an American even 109 objects in just two nights!

Actually, I did not intend to take part in the Unistellar Messier Marathon, and I did not do so officially, because I stay away from social media. But I performed a small "private" version of the Messier marathon (from March 18th to March 25th; on March 26th, the sky was cloudy) and also observed a few objects that are not included in the Messier catalog.

         

Photos: Unistellar alsoe asked for photos of the observers - here are some...

During my private Messier marathon, I visited the following deep sky objects with the Unistellar eVscope (in alphabetical order):

Object details can be obtained via the links to the relevant deep sky objects. Some of the detail pages are still "in progress", but all contain photos.

I composed a collage of all 78 observed objects. For photos of the 110 Messier objects, see page Messier-Katalog by Manfred Simon (in German).

 

Observation Overview

Further details can be found on page Deep Sky Observations with eVscope Mid-March 2020 and on....

Date
2020
Observed Objects Observed Objects, Details Remarks Further Remarks
Mar 18 (M) KS: M 3, M 5, M 13, M 53, NGC 5053, NGC 5466
G: M 63
Order (4:30-5:40): M 3, M 5, M 13, M 63 (Sunflower Galaxy), NGC 5466, M 53, NGC 5053 Actually, we wanted to observe a special position of the moon and the planets; in parallel, I built up the eVscope. Primarily, I observed globular star clusters and one galaxy.
Mar 18 (E) GC: M 79
OC: M 34, M 35, M 36, M 37, M 38, M 41, M 44, M 45, M 46, M 47, M 48, M 50, M 52, M 67, M 93, M 103
GN: M 1, M 42, M 43, M 78
PN: M 76
G: M 31, M 32, M 33, M 74, M 77, M 110
Order (for 20-21 o'clock, 19:30 up to shortly after 21 o'clock): M 41 (was marked for an hour later), M 74, M 77, M 79, M 31, M 32, M 110, M 33 (+ NGC 604), M 34, M 52, M 103, M 76, M 45, M 42, M 43
Order (for 21-22 o'click, up to about 22:30 o'clock): M 78, M 41 (already observed earlier, too), M 50, M 47, M 46, M 93, M 1, M 35, M 37, M 36, M 38, M 44, M 67, M 48
According to the Oculum publishers observation plan, I completed the program for the first two hours.  
Mar 20 GR: NGC 1977, NGC 1973, NGC 1975
G: NGC 4284, NGC 4290
DS: M 40
Order: Running Man Nebula (formed of reflection nebulae NGC 1977 anf its parts NGC 1973 and NGC 1975), M 40 (+ galaxies NGC 4284, NGC 4290, PGC 39934?)

Running Man Nebula searched for the Unistellar weekly competition, very faint; M 40 searched in order to close a "gap". No one knows why Messier added the double star to his list as M 40; nearby are 2-3 small galaxies (the third one can only be guessed at as a faint dot).
Mar 22 DN: B 33
GR: NGC 1977, NGC 1973, NGC 1975
GN: M 1, M 78, NGC 2024
G: M 65, M 66, M 95, M 96, M 105, NGC 2903, NGC 3344, NGC 3384, NGC 3389, NGC 3605, NGC 3607, NGC 3608, NGC 3628
Order: M 1, Running Man Nebula (nebula NGC 1977, 1973, 1975), Flame Nebula (NGC 2024), Horse Head Nebula B 33, M 78, Running Man once more, Flame Nebula once more;
NGC 2903, NGC 3344, NGC 3607 (+ NGC 3605 (close) and NGC 3608), NGC 3628 (from the edge), M 65 & 66, M 105 (+ NGC 3384 and NGC 3389 (irregular)), M 95, M 96,
Observed mainly nebulae and galaxies, because it was relatively dark shortly before new moon; in addition, Orion is located lower and lower, and it is time to finish one's observations there...  
Mar 23 GN: M 1
KS: M 3, M 53
G: M 51, M 63, M 64, M 65 & 66, M 66, M 85, M 94, M 97, M 98, M 99, M 100, M 101, M 102, M 106, M 108, M 109, NGC 4394
Order: M 1, Venus (no photo), M 66, M 65 & 66, M 97, M 108, M 109, M 106, M 51, M 63, M 101, M 102, M 53, M3, M 64, M 94, M 3 once more, M 85 (+ NGC 4394), M 98, M 99, M 100 Observed until close to midnight ("kitchen observing").  
Mar 24 GR: NGC 1977, NGC 1973, NGC 1975
GN: M 1, NGC 2024
OC: M 67
GC: M 53
G: M 49, M 58, M 59, M 60, M 61, M 64, M 85, M 86, M 84, M 87, M 88, M 89, M 90, M 91, M 98, M 99, M 100, M 104, NGC 4697
Start: M 74 and M 77 already too low
Order: Running Man Nebula (nebula NGC 1977, 1973, 1975), Flame Nebula (NGC 2024), (B33 did not work, perhaps there were obstacles in between) M 67, M 61, M 49, M 104, NGC 4697, M 59, M 60, M 58, M 89, M 87, M 90, M 91, M 88, M 86, M 86 & M 84, M 99, M 98, M 100, M 85, M 64, M 53
Observed mainly nebulae and galaxies, because it was relatively dark with new moon; Orion is located lower and lower, and it is time to finish one's observations there... Observed until about 1 a.m. ("kitchen observing"), at the end in Virgo (earlier in Leo and Coma Berenice)  
Mar 25 DN: B 33
G: IC 2574, M 65, M 66, M 81, M 82, M 84 , M 86, M 98, M 99, M 100, M 101, NGC 2403
Order: B 33, M 81, M 82, NGC 2403, IC 2574, M 66, M 66 & M 65, M 65, M 84, M 84 & M 86, M 98, M 99, M 100, M 101 (Pinwheel Galaxy) Observed the Horsehead Nebula and some galaxies (two not in Messier catalog), some with very long exposure times of up to half an hour. NGC 2403 was overlooked by Messier although it is considered as one of the nicest galaxies for small telescopes.

G = galaxy, OC = open star cluster, GC = globular star cluster, GN = galactic nebula, PN = planetary nebula, P = star pattern, DN = dark nebula, C = comet, SN = supernova

 

List of Observed Deep Sky Objects

Object details can be obtained via the links to the relevant deep sky objects. Some of the detail pages are still "in progress", but all of them contain photos.

Possibly, I will add some preview pictures to the table. I also created a collage showing all observed objects.

Messier Objects (67)

DSO Details
Name Constellation Type Remarks (eVscope-related)
M 1 Crab Nebula Taurus GE More distinct with longer exposure times...
M 3   Canes Venatici GC Nice globular cluster, one of the larger ones
M 5   Serpens Cauda GC Nice globular cluster, one of the larger ones, larger then M 3
M 13   Hercules KS Nice globular cluster, one of the largest ones, larger than M 5
M 31 Andromeda Galaxy Andromeda G Too large for the eVscope's field of view
M 32   Andromeda G Satellite galaxy of M 31
M 33 Triangulum Galaxy Triangulum G Very faint, details are hardly recognizable
M 34   Perseus OC Large and nice open star cluster, reminds me of M 41
M 35   Gemini OC Large and nice open star cluster
M 36   Auriga OC Nice open star cluster, smaller than M 35
M 37   Auriga OC Nice, very dense open star cluster
M 38   Auriga OC Nice open star cluster, larger than M 36, not as dense as M 37
M 40   Ursa Major DS Optical double star; nearby are three small galaxies (NGC 4284, NGC 4290, PGC 39934)
M 41   Canis Major OC Large and nice open star cluster, reminds me of M 34 ; not as dense as M 35-38
M 42 Orion Nebula Orion GE Too large for the eVscope, somewhat blurry, Trapezium mostly washed out
M 43 De Mairan's Nebula Orion GE Part of M 42
M 44 Beehive, Praesepe Cancer OC Too large for the eVscope, a few bright stars
M 45 Pleiades, Seven Sisters Taurus OC Too large for the eVscope's field of view
M 46   Puppis OC Large; NGC 2438 (PN) on the photo!
M 47   Puppis OC Large, contains some large bright stars
M 48   Hydra OC Large, many bright stars, at the center many nearby stars...
M 49   Virgo G Elliptical galaxy
M 50   Monoceros OC Nice large open star cluster with many fine and some bright stars
M 51 Whirlpool Galaxy Canes Venatici G Nice spiral galaxy with connected satellite galaxy
M 52   Cassiopeia OC Medium-sized open star cluster
M 53   Coma Berenices GC One of the smaller globular star clusters
M 58   Virgo G Barred spiral galaxy, but hard to see in the eVscope
M 59   Virgo G Elliptical galaxy, smaller than M 58
M 60   Virgo G Elliptical galaxy with satellite NGC 4647 (spiral galaxy)
M 61   Virgo G Spiral galaxy, small and fine spiral in the eVscope
M 63 Sunflower Galaxy Canes Venatici G Nice, elongated spiral galaxie, somewhat larger
M 64 Black Eye Galaxy Coma Berenices G Impressive spiral galaxy with unique look, somewhat larger
M 65   Leo G Thin, elongated spiral galaxy, spiral hard to see; part of the Leo triplet (with M 66 and NGC 3623; with M 66 just about into the field of view of the eVscope
M 66   Leo G Elongated spiral galaxy, spiral visible; part of the Leo triplet (with M 65 and NGC 3628; with M 65 just about into the field of view of the eVscope
M 67   Cancer OC Large, nice cluster with a few bright stars and many not so bright ones
M 74   Pisces G Nice spiral galaxy, but in the eVscope just a faint dot/glow...
M 76 Small Dumbbell Nebula Perseus PN Small, colorful, rectangular
M 77   Cetus G Spiral galaxy, a bit more to see than with M 74, but in the end just a soft dot in the eVscope
M 78   Orion GE Faint, but identifiable using two stars; around new moon, I was able to see more details
M 79   Lepus GC Smaller globular star cluster
M 81 Bode Galaxy Ursa Major G Nice spiral galaxy; the spiral is not very conspicuous in the eVscope
M 82 Cigar Galaxy Ursa Major G Elongated irregular galaxy (cigar), dirsturbed by an encounter with M 81
M 84   Virgo G Elliptical galaxy, which can be seen together with M 86 in the eVscope's field of view (+ NGC 4387 and a bit of NGC 4402)
M 85   Coma Berenices G Elliptical galaxy that can be seen together with the galaxy NGC 4394 in the same field of view of the eVscope
M 86   Virgo G Observed alone and together with M 84 in the field of view (+ NGC 4387 and a bit of NGC 4402)
M 87   Virgo G Elliptical galaxy, seen together with NGC 4478 in the eVscope's field of view
M 88   Coma Berenices G Spiral galaxy, spiral can be recognized
M 89   Virgo G Elliptical galaxy, a small bright and fuzzy dot...
M 90   Virgo G Spiral galaxy, spiral can be recognized
M 91   Coma Berenices G Barred spiral galaxy, bar can be recognized, spiral not so much...
M 93   Puppis OC Nice open star cluster with compact center
M 94   Canes Venatici G Small spiral galaxy, the spiral appears more like a nebula
M 95   Leo G Small barred spiral galaxy, relatively faint, but the bar is visible. Forms a pair with M 96, but too far away for the eVscope (40').
M 96   Leo G Spiral galaxy, forms a pair with M 95, but too far away for the eVscope (40').
M 97 Owl Nebula Ursa Major PN Small green dot with two dark spots
M 98   Coma Berenices G Spiral galaxy seen edge-on, small bright core
M 99 Coma Pinwheel Galaxy Coma Berenices G Spiral galaxy, almost seen face-on, similar to M 100 and M 101, but much smaller than M 101
M 100   Coma Berenices G Spiral galaxy, almost seen face-on, similar to M 99 and M 101, but much smaller than M 101
M 101 Pinwheel Galaxy Ursa Major G Spiral galaxy, seen face-on, similar to M 99 and M 100, but much larger than both; quite impressive in the eVscope
M 102 Spindle Galaxy Draco G Seen edge-on; shares the name "Spindle Galaxy" with two other galaxies
M 103   Casiopeia OC Open star cluster with many fine stars; the brighter stars form a triangle
M 104 Sombrero Galaxy Virgo G Spiral galaxy, seen nearly edge-on; the dust ring and the bright nucleus led to the name; very impressive in eVs
M 105   Leo G Bright elliptical galaxy; can be seen together with the galaxies NGC 3384 (elliptical) and the smaller NGC 3389 (spiral) in the same field of view in the eVscope.
M 106   Canes Venatici G Larger and bright spiral galaxy with bright core
M 108   Ursa Major G Barred spiral galaxy, nearly seen edge-on
M 109   Ursa Major G Barred spiral galaxy, the bar is easily recognized in the eVscope
M 110   Andromeda G Satellite galaxy of M 31, fainter than M 32 (very faint...)

Objects that Do not Belong to the Messier Catalog* (11 more Photos)

DSO Details
Name Constellation Type Remarks (eVscope-related)
B 33 Horse Head Nebula Perseus DN Always a challenge; more details after 10 minutes of exposure
IC 2574   Ursa Major G Very faint spiral galaxy, hard for the eVscope
NGC 604 see M 33 Triangulum HII The brightest HII region in M 33, a small blob...
NGC 1977 Running Man Nebula Orion GR The Running Man Nebula includes the reflection nebulae NGC 1977, 1973, and 1975 as well as the open star cluster 1981; a dark nebula has the shape of a running man; needs long times in Enhanced Vision mode
NGC 2024 Flame Nebula Orion GE Rather faint reddish nebula next to Alnitak; not easy for the eVscope
NGC 2403   Camelopardis G Spiral galaxie, regarded as one of the best galaxies for small telescopes; unclear why Messier overlooked it; fairly impressive in the eVscope.
NGC 2438 see M 46 Puppis PN Planetary nebula inside of M 46 (there I found it...)
NGC 2903   Leo G One of the brighter spiral galaxies; unclear why Messier missed it..
NGC 3384/3389 see M 105 Leo G The galaxies NGC 3384 (elliptical) and the smaller NGC 3389 (spiral) can be seen together with the galaxy M 105 in the same field of view in the eVscope.
NGC 3607/3608/3605   Leo G Three elliptical galaxies, which can all be seen in the eVscope in the same field of view (size: 3607 > 3608 > 3605)
NGC 3628   Leo G Spiral galaxy seen edge-on; it forms a conspicuous group with M 65 and M 66, the Leo Triplet.
NGC 4284/4290 see M 40 Ursa Major G Two small galaxies in the vicinity of the optical double star M 40
NGC 4387/4402 see M 86 Virgo G Two small galaxies close to M 84 and M 86; more or less in the same field of view in the eVscope
NGC 4394 see M 85 Coma Berenices G Small spiral galaxy close to M 85 (in the same field of view of the eVscope)
NGC 4647 see M 60 Virgo G Spiral galaxy, interacting with elliptical galaxy M 60 (in the same field of view of the eVscope)
NGC 4697   Virgo G Small elliptical galaxy
NGC 5053   Coma Berenices GC Very loose globular star cluster near M 53 (1°); already too bright for a good photo...
NGC 5466   Bootes GC Rather loose globular star cluster; already a litte bright for a photo...

G = galaxy, OC = open star cluster, GC = globular star cluster, GE = galactic emission nebula, GR = galactic reflection nebula, DN = dark nebula, C = comet, PN = planetary nebula, SP = star pattern, HII = HII region (emission nebala in other galaxies)

*) Some of the objects were detected on photos of Messier objects.

 

Collage of Observation Objects

The collage below presents the 67 Messier objects that I observed during my private Messier marathon between March 18 and 25, 2020. There are 68 photos, because I also photographed M 65 and M 66 together (M 86 includes M 84, but I also photographed M 84 alone). Furthermore, the collage contains photos of 11 objects that are not contained in the Messier catalog, but in fact there are as many as in the list above because some of them were photographed together with Messier objects (or other objects).

Some photos are "borderline" and I sometimes do have better photos of these objects, but these were taken outside the marathon, and therefore do not appear in the collage.

Large version (4800 x 6800 pixels, 4.8 MB); medium-sized version (2400 x 3400 pixels, 1.2 MB)

 

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27.09.2020