(IAAC) Obj: M57 Ring Nebula - Inst: 16" Dob F4.5

Observation Poster: Paul Money <paul_ohstbucks@msn.com>
Observer: Paul Money
Your skills: Beginner (< one year)
Date/time of observation: 5-26-03  230AM CST
Location of site: Rural Missouri (Lat , Elev )
Site classification: Rural
Sky darkness: 6.0 <Limiting magnitude>
Seeing: 5 <1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best)>
Moon presence: None - moon not in sky
Instrument: 16" Dob F4.5
Magnification: 310x, 620x
Filter(s): None
Object(s): M57 Ring Nebula
Category: Planetary nebula.
Constellation: Lyr
Data: mag   size 
Position: RA :  DEC :
This was my first attempt at trying to bag the central star in M57 with the 
new 16". I'm no expert on judging sky quality, but seeing and
transparency seemed to be only average. The only thing I used to 
rate transparency was the fact that the mikly way looked only average. LOL 
I have seen it better than this night, and the structure wasn't as 
pronounced as it could have been.  By about 230am, M57 was nearing Zenith, 
and I had to give it a good try!! I was able to easily see the 13.1 
magnitude field star that was positioned directly to the W of the ring on
 this night.  The 14.1 mag field star was NW of the ring as was visible 
with direct vision. So far....so good. The 15 Mag tight double that is
just off the SW end of the ring was just barely visible with effort as a 
single faint point of light intermittently. Not so good!  The two 15
magnitude stars that are South and SE of the ring were visible easily 
with averted vision. I tried 310x and after observing for about 30 minutes, 
I may have caught what I would call a couple of flashes or a glimmer of 
the center star at best. Once or twice it glimmered bright enough to get 
me excited, only to have it vanish and not be seen again. I gave it a rest 
for awhile then went back to the Ring with 620x with similar results.  I 
could just barely detect some light intermittently in the center, and even thought I saw the second star the ring to the South of the central star at
 one point, but to only have it fade from sight after a flash. I also got a flash of the star imbedded in the extreme eastern edge of the ring. Did I
 see the central star, or was my mind playing tricks on me?  That is the question. Maybe next time, the skies will be a little better. 
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