(IAAC) Obj: M51 - Inst: 15x70 binoculars

Observer: Rick Margolies
Your skills: Intermediate (some years)
Date/time of observation: 16 Feb 04, 8pm Local
Location of site: Center Ossipee NH USA (Lat 44oN, Elev ?)
Site classification: Rural
Sky darkness: 6.5? <Limiting magnitude>
    Transparency: Clear (8/10)
Seeing: Unknown
Moon presence: None - moon not in sky
Instrument: 15x70 Binoculars on Manfrotto 3030 photo-tripod
Magnification: 15x
Filter(s): none
Object(s): M51
Category: External galaxy.
Class: SA(s)bcP I
Constellation: CVn
Data: mag 8.4; size 11x7
Position: 132953.3 +471148
I didn't calculate my limiting magnitude but I'm sure it
was easily 6+, and the CSC light pollution map categorizes
the area as 3 on the Bortle Scale (at least mag 6.5).
I've always used Gary Seronik's hop to M51 (S&T May 20O2
Binocular Highlight) from eta UMa. Not necessary tonight!
M51 was easy and actually led me to the triangle of stars
I usually use to locate it. It was elongated north-south,
about 10'x5', shaped like a wedge. Quite a surprise and a
treat to have it so obvious.
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