Deep sky observing in really freezing weather 4.-5.12.2012

Date: 4.-5.12.2012
Time: 20:15-21:15
Observing site: Kovero heritage farm, Seitseminen National Park, Finland
Instrument: L102/1000mm

NELM: 6,6
SQM: 21,12
Darkness of the background sky: 2
Seeing: 2
Transparency: 2
Weather: Clear sky, -21 °C, calm, 20cm snow on the ground, no Moon, no aurora

Objects observed: Messier 81 (visual, sketching), Messier 82 (visual, sketching)

This time I decided to try observing at Kovero traditional farm in Seitseminen National Park, Finland. From the yard of the farm the horizon is open enough to make observations. The place is accessible with a car also in winter. When I arrived at the site, the gates of the farm were open and I carried my observing equipment to the yard and started observing!

This time weather was rather chilly, temperature was -21 degrees below zero, and there was about 20 cm of snow on the ground! But the cold temperature isn’t a problem, when you have dressed up properly!

This time I observed galaxies Messier 81 and 82 in the constellation of Ursa major, The Great bear of northern sky!

Messier 81 (The Bode’s nebula) appeared as a relatively large, oval shaped nebula with a bright core. Brightness of the galaxy increases inwards. The outer parts of the galaxy are better visible with averted vision. This galaxy is elliptical in shape, and its long axis is oriented in NW-SE -direction. This is a really good object for small instruments!

Messier 81 observed with 4'' Refractor
Messier 81 observed with 4” Refractor

Messier 82 appeared as a bright, thin and elongated nebula, whose long axis is roughly SW-NE oriented. The brightness distribution of the galaxy is pretty even. There is a brighter spot visible with averted vision close to the core of the galaxy. Messier 82 is a really good target for small instruments too!

Messier 82 with 4'' Refractor
Messier 82 observed with 4” Refractor

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