Posted By Roger Cole
Ok, I'm calling Sagitarrius the "milk pitcher" instead of the "teapot" because of the LP I have to the south at my parents' house where this took place, and tried to style the title after Ron's great Light Cup obs reports. Imitation and flattery and all that, Ron. ;-)
Aug 05 2002
Date: August 5, 2002 (UTC, Aug 4-5 EDT)
Time: 0225 – 0400 UTC
Transparency 5.0 North, 5.5 ZLM, 4.0 South
Instrument Used: Orion 10x50 Ultraview binoculars, mounted on Bogen 3021 tripod with tripod adapter.
Set up in side yard at parents house and got started about 1025 local (EDT) time. Eta Ursa Minoris (mag 4.9) was barely visible with direct vision before I was fully dark adapted, so limiting magnitude toward the north was about 5. Overhead, I estimate the ZLM at least 5.5. However, to the south toward Sagittarius the neighbor’s lights make it much more difficult, though the direct glare is blocked by my parents’ barn. Mu Sagittarii at magnitude 3.81 takes a careful look, though it is there. Limiting magnitude toward the south is closer to 4. Seeing is fairly good, at least as far as I’m able to tell with 10x binoculars. The views are steady.
First target is M7. In spite of how prominent it can be to the unaided eye it is NOT visible unaided, or at least I can’t see it and I do find it readily in the binoculars. In spite of the light background it is still very pretty. My notes comment, “Looks like an X-Wing!” Interesting that I see a winged object from the mythology of my youth in this and not in M6, which is up next. I make a half hearted attempt to count stars, but the background in this area is just too rich.
Moving up to M6, my notes say, “reminds me of a miniature [constellation of] Orion” and I have a very small crude sketch that shows it this way.
Later and indoors, I look at both with Starry Night Pro. After playing with the limiting magnitude and setting it at 10, I manage to recreate the “X-Wing look” look of M7. M6 takes more work and dropping the limiting magnitude to 9, then it looks “sort of almost maybe a little bit like” my sketch. The X-Wing is obvious but I have to convince myself I see the butterfly shape in M6. I’m not at all sure of it even so. It doesn’t look much like Orion either, indoors.