Tuesday, 24 July 2012

M51



M51 / NGC5194 / Whirlpool galaxy
Constellation - Canes Venatici
Spiral galaxy

Location - Narkurs
Date - 24/7/12
Time - 0115-0245
Seeing - II
SQM 21.42 (NELM 6.3)

Telescope - 12" f/5
EP - 7mm Pentax XW x218 TFoV 0˚19

Sketch materials - white pastel on black paper

Sketch notes
Taking a break from the Sagittarius region I decided to have another attempt at sketching M51. I gave up on the last attempt as I wasn't sure if I could see the spiral arms so this time I made a lot more effort, I observed for 1 1/4 hours and the sketch took just 15 minutes.
I switched between three EP's (x117/x158/x218) which helped to show the actual brightness and contrast but the main technique I used to pick out the spiral arms was gently rocking the OTA and this was the only time that the spiral arms really became evident. If I stopped rocking the arms would all but vanish and would only occasionally and briefly come back into view.
There were very few background stars at x218.
Although the sketch appears very basic for me this is the best sketch I have done yet because of learning new observing techniques more than what actually was put on to paper.

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