(IAAC) Obj: M101 - Inst: 15x70 binoculars

Observer: Rick Margolies
Your skills: Intermediate (some years)
Date/time of observation: 16 Feb 04, 10pm 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): M101
Category: External galaxy.
Class: SAB(rs)cd I
Constellation: UMa
Data: mag 7.9; size 29x27
Position: 140312.9 +542103
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).
Highlight of my night. I've seen this galaxy once from home,
at zenith with averted vision in my XT8. (And my neck still
hurts!) But tonight, I followed the chain of stars from Mizar
and bang!, not quite as bright as Comet 2002 T7 [which Rick
also observed on this night], but easy still. I was shocked...
A beautiful diffuse ball, round and about 20' in diameter.
I was so stunned I kept sneaking back for glimpses all night
and all week.
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