Last updated: 23 May 2002

Messier Objects with the ETX

Date: 31 Dec 1999
From: (Reagan Herman)
I remembered my notebook today. So as promised, here's my list so far:
M3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 13, 21, 22, 28, 31, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 41, 42, 43, 44,
45, 47, 48, 50, 57, 79, & 93. Double Cluster in Perseus (NGC 884
& 869), & NGC 2244. The Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, &
Mars. Hopefully I'll catch Mercury around March 2nd; it should be at
it's highest and brightest (-0.7mag). I found a web site that I use to
check my drawings against. It's the SEDS Messier database
( ). I've found it to be very useful with lots
of pictures and facts about each object.

Subject:	Messier Objects with the ETX-90
Sent:	Monday, May 20, 2002 13:32:13
From: (Mark Graybill)
I saw the post you had in the Buyer/New User tips on Messier Objects
with the ETX. I can add a few items to what was listed there (and a
little more detail on a few of the items listed in that post.)

I've only had my ETX-90 Astro model M for a short while, but I've had
the chance to observe a few Messier objects with it:

M13, globular cluster in Hercules
M13 was nice and bright as expected, I wasn't able to pick out
individual stars as well as I'd hoped to be able to, but the cluster
still showed some detail. It was easy to make out the sharp increase in
brightness near the center of the cluster, and it was easy to contrast
it with other clusters such as M22 that brighten far more gradually
toward the center. M13 was viewed from a moderately dark site at 2500'

M22, globular cluster in Sagittarius
M22 was big and bright, it was pretty easy to pick out individual stars
in the outer parts of the cluster. The gradual brightening was easily
apparent, it's very nice in the ETX-90. Observed from the same site as
M13, above.

M44, Praesepe, or the Beehive Cluster
This is a nice cluster of yellow stars in the ETX, but this is also the
sort of object that led me to buy the Shutan wide-field adapter. With
the wide-field adapter much more of the cluster was visible at once and
while it was nice without the adapter it was spectacular with the
adapter and a 24mm Wide Field eyepiece. Observed at both a moderately
dark site at 2500' and a dark site at 5000'.

M57, the Ring Nebula
M57 showed up nicely in spite of poor observing conditions. It was low
in the sky and the sun had only just set, so the sky wasn't very dark
yet. Nonetheless, the ring shape was clearly visible even though the
overall contrast of the object in the sky was poor (the sky was still
blue at the time I observed it.) It should be very clear and easy with a
darker sky.

M65 & M66, two spiral galaxies in Leo
M65 (magnitude 9.5) was just a faint wisp that was barely visible, the
nucleus and a little bit of the halo showed with no real detail. It had
a shape like an elongated comma. M66 (magnitude 8.8) showed up much
better, and was considerably easier to see. It was possible to see some
structure in it, with the nucleus being a brightening in the grey wisp
that was not sharply defined. The halo was well defined around the edge,
making an oval shape, there was no apparent detail in the halo itself,
though. These were observed at a fairly dark site at about 5000'
altitude, the sky wasn't fully dark yet since the sun had only gone down
about 30 minutes earlier.

M97 The Owl Nebula, a planetary nebula in Ursa Major
This was a sort of "test" of the ETX, since the magnitude of the object
is 12.0, and the theoretical limiting magnitude of a 90mm telescope is
about 11.7. Of course, magnitudes are slippery things when dealing with
something other than stars. The Owl showed up very nicely in the ETX-90,
in spite of the low magnitude. The round shape was very sharp and clear,
and the contrast was excellent. The "eyes" were not visible, though, I
hardly expected them to be since they are only just visible in my 8"
telescope. M-97 was observed at a dark site at 5000' altitude. I found
it using a 24mm Televue WIde Field eyepiece, and observed it with a
Televue 10.5mm Plossl.

The Owl nebula is the second dimmest Messier object by magnitude. Given
how nicely the Owl showed up in the ETX-90, I'm looking forward to
trying to see the dimmest one, M-76--the "little" dumb-bell nebula
(magnitude 12.2), with it as well.

Mike, feel free to post this on your excellent website if you wish.

-Mark Graybill
Mike here: Also, see the User Observations page for on observing Deep Sky Objects.

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