(IAAC) Obj: M 31 (Great Andromeda Galaxy) - Inst: 6" f/4 Newtonian

Observer: Lew Gramer
Your skills: Intermediate
Date and UT of Observation: 1997-11-29/30, 03:20 UT
Location: Miles Standish State Forest, MA, USA (41N, elev 30m)
Site classification: rural
Limiting magnitude: 6.6 (zenith), 6.0 (near object - haze)
Seeing: 9 of 10 - excellent
Moon up: no
Instrument: 6" f/4 equatorial Newtonian
Magnification: 38x (binoviewer)
Filters used: None
Object: M31 (Great Andromeda Galaxy)
Category: Spiral Galaxy
Constellation: And
Data: mag 3.4  size 178'x40'
RA/DE: 00h42m  +41o16m
It was a strange and pleasing sensation to see huge M31 stretching
out over a binoptic field of view, using Dan Smoody's 6", his great
"kit" binoviewer and 38mm Ploessls. Unfortunately conditions in the
vicinity of Andromeda were less than optimal, so much of the detail
which we might have noted in the mighty spiral from this good site
was washed out. Three dark lanes were distinguishable in the faint
outer core and halo of the Andromeda, but all were diffuse against
a diffuse background. The inner dark lane to the S was the only one
where both edges could be distinguished (faintly), which the outer
S lane and the N lane were both visible merely as "edges" in M31's
pearly haze to averted vision. The off-axis nature of the galaxy's
inner core, on the other hand, was STRONGLY apparent in this view,
actually made more prominent it seemed by the two-eyed viewing. The
core and innermost halo overfilled the eyepiece field with the 38mm
Ploessls - I'd love to see this same view with twin 35mm Panoptics!
As expected, M32, M110, and NGC206 were all noted, though all were
too faint to show detail - NGC 206 actually needing averted vision.