By O'Meara S.J.
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Extra resources for Deep-Sky Companions: The Messier Objects
At least one Messier object each season is bright enough to be seen with the naked eye. Furthermore, these objects are plotted on good star wheels. Types of Messier Objects There are three principal categories of objects in the Messier catalogue: star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. Each is divided into subclasses: open and globular clusters; diffuse and planetary nebulae; and spiral, elliptical, and irregular galaxies. Many of the Messier objects inhabit our own galaxy, the Milky Way. What does our galaxy look like?
Challenge yourself to spend the time to really study these objects, which are some of the most splendid deep-sky wonders visible from our unique perspective in space, and to strive to see even more detail than I have shown. Once you have located a Messier object, let’s say a galaxy, spend about a half hour just enjoying it. 29 2 Next, try to sketch as much detail as you can without referring to the book. ) Then sit back for a moment, take a sip of hot tea, relax your eyes, examine the photograph and drawing, and compare your sketch with the photograph.
I did not use any filters when making the observations for this book. Observers who live under light-polluted skies, however, should consider using light-pollution or skyglow-reduction filters to sharpen the contrast between the diffuse Messier objects and the background sky. Hydrogen-beta and oxygenIII filters work wonders on emission nebulae, but be aware that they also dim starlight by about one magnitude. The Genesis is cradled in the altazimuth yoke of a Gibraltar mount. This heavy, ashwood tripod certainly lives up to its name 32 and holds the telescope rock steady.