M3 Globular cluster
Last Friday night while out with the scope trying to get a glimpse of Comet C/2006 VZ13,came across M03.This was quite unexpected even though I knew that I was in the right vicinity to view and image it.Since the comet isn’t in the library of my Meade autostar,I ended up slewing manually using the coordinates provided by Heavensabove and even downloaded a star map to help with the visual.I have had really good luck with Heavens Above in the past but,at no fault of theirs I was still unable to locate it.I lay the complete blame on the murky skies.One moment the sky would be quite clear and the next moment seemed as if I were trying to observe through a dirty fish tank.The current local forcast is calling for Hazy but clear skies in the next 2 days and rain for the weekend.This type of weather pattern is very frustrating for me because,I have to be up before sunrise to ready myself for work which makes it tough to grab any residual ambition to observe and 4am comes early!.
The image below was shot using a Pentax ist DS dslr.It was actually a much shorter exposure of 40 seconds rather than the normal 60seconds+ due to the fact that high clouds were almost obscuring the glob and I didn’t think I would get a worth while shot.Post processing with PS elements was used to enhance the image.I normally like to crop and resize my images just to get as much detail as I can.Lately,I have been trying to stay away from that practice.I want people to see what I see as if they were looking through the lens on my scope.
Located in the constellation Canes venatici at a distance of about 33,900 light years, M3 is further away than the center of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, but still shines at magnitude 6.2, as its absolute magnitude is about -8.93, corresponding to a luminosity of about 300,000 times that of our sun. M3 is thus visible to the naked eye under very good conditions – and a superb object with the slightest optical aid.
Information courtesy of SEDS