(IAAC) Obj: M83 - Inst: 5" f/5 altaz refractor

Observer: Lew Gramer
Your skills: Intermediate (some years)
Date/time of observation: 19/20 Apr 1998  01:00 UT
Location of site: Long Key, FL, USA (Lat 25N, Elev 0m)
Site classification: Rural
Sky darkness: 7.4 <Limiting magnitude>
Seeing: 7 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Moon presence: None - moon not in sky
Instrument: 5" f/5 altaz refractor
Magnification: 18x, 30x, 55x, 90x
Filter(s): None, DeepSky.
Object(s): M83
Object category: Galaxy
Object class: SAB(s)c I-II
Constellation: Hya
Object data: mag 7.54:8.20  size 12.88x11.48 55
Position: 133700.3-295204
A fairly difficult find below the easternmost "kink" of Hydra the Serpent.
I finally found two yellowish mag 4 stars, 1 & 2 Cen, to be good pointers.
This galaxy which seems so wan and subtle from further north, was from here
in the Keys a startlingly beautiful, bright, obviously barred object. Outer
details in the bright halo were best seen with a 12mm (55x). The strong bar
was seen to stretch some 3-4' to either side of the small, knobby core, and
was especially complex to the S. At this power, the third arm of the spiral
roiled off of the S end of the bar, stretching many minutes in a wide arc to
N and E of the core, finally reaching a trio of mag 9-11 stars 8' to the S.
Interestingly the addition of the DeepSky Filter strongly enhanced the bar,
in particular near the now almost stellar core. However, it correspondingly
weakened the arms, showing in a fascinating amateur view where emission (and
thus the most star formation) is probably going on in this graceful spiral.
What a surprise to see such details in this Southern Gem of the Messiers!
Object data thanks to dObjects: http://www.eaglequest.com/~bondono/dObjects
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