(IAAC) OBJECTS: M63 (galaxy) INST: 18" f/4.2 Newt. LM=5.2 Rating: B

Observer:  Todd Gross
Your skill:  Intermediate - Many years
Date and UT of observation: 2/23/99 09:13 GMT
Location & latitude: 22 mi. West of Boston, Ma. 42.3N
Site classification: Suburban
Limiting magnitude (visual): 5.2 zenith 
Seeing (1 to 10 - worst-best): about 3
Moon up (phase?): No
Weather: Clear
Instrument: 18" Stabilite Newt f/4.2 1925mm fl
Magnifications: 71x,101,138x / 128x (w. binoviewer)
Filters used: none
Object: M63 Sunflower galaxy
Constellation: CVn 
Object data: Galaxy 
Size(s): 12.6x7.2
Position: 13:16 42:02
Magnitude: 8.6
Personal "rating" (at this aperture, and sky condition): B
Don't worry, if you think you have read this before, you have, kinda.
Exactly one week ago I posted an observation on M63, with limiting magnitude
skies of approximately 5.0. The view was disappointing, but not this morning.
This morning, with just a drop better transparency, I was down to an LM of 
around 5.2.. showing just how volatile my site is (any worse light pollution 
than my maximum approx. 5.3 LM, and I will be shut out of viewing some 
nice galaxies) 
Anyway, M63 looked different this time around. Best viewed at 138. The bright
elliptical glow of the core was surrounded by an outer oval glow, but it
patchy, especially with averted vision, and towards the ends. Indeed, I 
couldn't help but recognize it as what I have seen in my own ccd photographs,
and others. Although the spiraling out of the "pieces" wasn't all that
the actual broken-up "tile-like" nature of the galaxy took enough of a form
that I was clearly able to recognize that I was viewing the galaxy "upside
Compared to other galaxies I had viewed this night ie. ngc 33359,3898,4236
(not very 
impressive) and 4125,4036(very nice), M63 was noticeably brighter and
very easily discerned in this fairly large aperture. M63 was mid.-size.
Boston Meteorologist Todd Gross
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