(IAAC) OBJECT: M104, (sombrero galaxy), INST. 16" f/4.59 Dob-newt, suburbs

Observer:  Todd Gross
Your skill:  Intermediate 
Date and UT of observation: 02/02/98 08:10 GMT
Location & latitude: 22 miles west of Boston, Ma. 42.3N
Site classification: Suburban
Limiting magnitude (visual): 5.1 (exact) 4.6 (est) in vicinity of object
Seeing (1 to 10 - worst-best):  est. 6
Moon up (phase?): No
Weather: Clear, snowcovered
Instrument: 16" Newtonian-dob w. 96/99% coatings f/4.59   f.l. 1865
Magnifications: binoviewer: 170x
Filters used: none
Object: M104
Constellation: Virgo
Object data: Edge-on spiral galaxy
Size(s): 9x3
Position: RA 12:40  DEC -11:37
Magnitudes: 8
Personal "rating" (at this aperture, and sky condition):  A-
This is a fabulous object in any scope.. and perfect for this instrument
in suburban skies. It floats over my light polluted southern horizon,
but I was still able to make it out so clearly due to the high sfc. 
Appears as an edge-on galaxy, medium sized, but long. A 
radiant core shines at the center and bulges to the north. The galaxy 
is inverted in the Newtonian so it appears upside down. Oriented  
almost perfectly E-W, with a thick  dark lane on the south side. 
Felt like someone drew in the dark lane with a magic marker, 
rather a thin pencil..because it was almost barlike.
The dark lane is not exactly at the base of the galaxy so there is some 
brightness continuing on the south side of it. Did not appear to look 
as much like an upside down sombrero at this aperture as in smaller 
aperture, perhaps because it was more resolved, and photographic-like.
- Todd
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