Sunday, February 23, 2020

Best Spirals Ever!

It was a spiral galaxy type of night.

The sky was dark and moonless. Its transparency was excellent.

With this, I was able to see the spiral arms on M81, one the two galaxies known as Bode's Nebula.  Usually, I can only see M81 as a blob of light.

M81 Bode's Nebula

M81 with its spiral arms
M81 is more than just a blob.

One cannot observe M81 without nudging the scope over to take in M82!  They are so close to each other in the sky, it would be sinful not to take a peek.

M82 Bode's Nebula

M82 with no apparent spiral arms
M82 is actually a spiral galaxy, too.  It has two symmetric spiral arms that are visible in the near-infrared.   The arms are difficult to see because of M82's high surface brightness.

M51 The Whirlpool Galaxy

M51 is always fun to observe.  Especially when the sky really transparent.

M51 and companion
Under dark sky conditions, M51 is binocular visible.

NGC4567 and NGC4568 The Siamese Twin Galaxies

This is a set of unbarred spiral galaxies in the constellation Virgo.  These galaxies are in the process of colliding and merging with each other.  They were named "Siamese Twins" because they appear to be connected.

I like this image that I captured because it shows more detail than I have previously been able to see.

M99 Coma Pinwheel Galaxy

And finally, here is the Coma Pinwheel Galaxy.  It is situated in the southern part of Coma Berenices and is seen almost directly facing us.

M99 is a new galaxy for me.  I was happy to tease some details out of its spiral arms.

It was a good night for observing spiral galaxies.

Have you seen any lately?

1 comment:

  1. I see the M81 spiral arms, cool! So what does the "unbarred" part in "unbarred spiral galaxies" mean? I haven't seen any spiral galaxies lately except on this blog.:-)


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