(IAAC) Object: M31 Inst: 16" f/4.59 Newtonian

Observer:  Todd Gross
Your skill:  Intermediate 
Date and UT of observation: 09/05/97 0743GMT
Location & latitude: 22 miles west of Boston, Ma. 42.3N
Site classification: Suburban
Limiting magnitude (visual): 5.3 (estimated) 5.3 (est) in vicinity of object
Seeing (1 to 10 - worst-best):  4
Moon up (phase?): No
Instrument: 16" Newtonian-dob w. 96/99% coatings
Magnifications: 98x (19mm Panoptic)
Filters used: none
Object: M31
Object data: Spiral Galaxy
Incredible! Much better view than at times of higher light pollution. 
Although the entire galaxy would not fit into the eyepiece at all, (only 25%)
I could pan along the central section of the elongated glow, with it's very 
large, bright central core radiating. The glow took up most of the eyepiece
view north-south, and all of it (obviously, e-w) The galaxy was sprinkled 
with a large number of stars inside, and outside. Two dark lanes on 
the north side of the galaxy were nearly ruler straight, and took up 
my entire field of view in the eyepiece (41 arc minutes) & beyond. 
The darker of the two lanes was pretty close to the galactic core, the 
second dark lane, was easily seen with direct vision..also 
looked like it was etched with a ruler and pencil, but not quite as promient. 
One of the few times this galaxy began to approach it's photographic 
presentation, (when shot with short exposure time). M32 and M110 hung 
bright and beautiful to the south, and to the north of the core respectively.  
This object deserves much more scrutiny than what I was able to give it..
but unlike times when the light pollution brought the l.m. to under 5, these
conditions really showed off the dark lanes, which I wanted to report.
- Todd
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