The next object I looked at was NGC-2261, also know as Hubbles's Variable Nebula. It is a small comet shaped reflection nebula surrounding a newly formed star. It's high surface brightness makes it able to take high magnificatuons very well, and an odd bluish tint appeared at 250X. The star like object at the apex was not a sharp pinpont, it was fuzzy. That is the inner nucleus of the nebula, whose appearance changes because of dust clouds in orbit close to the star. As they move, they cast shadows that sweep across the nebula, causing it to vary in shape and appearance from week to week and even night to night.
The next object I turned the telescope to was M-97, the Owl Nebula. This is a large but dim planetary nebula in Ursa Major that has a dim central star and two darker reagions that give it the appearance of an owl's face at 153X. The "eyes" were in fact dimly visible through an O-III filter despite the not so good skies above me.
After unsucessfully looking for NGC-2403 in Cameleopardalis, I paid the galaxies M-81 and M82 a visit. M-81 was incredibly bright, the nuclear bulge was a blazing mass of light and the disk of the galaxy seemed streaked as well. The real show was M-82, which not only sported the dark bands, I could actually see a couple of the H-II regions with no trouble at all. At 250X, it spanned one third of the field of view!
I then moved over to Canes Venatici to look at a pair of interacting galaxies called NGC-4485 and 4490. A supernova appeared in NGC-4485 a few years ago and both are disturbed by their mutual gravitational tug of war. The larger galaxy appeared as a bright oval object with a brigher core, the smaller galaxy was oddly shaped with a small brighter region in the center.
Next I moved over to the bright globular clusters M-53 and M-3, both of which were fully resolved into stars. In fact, they looked like piles of shattered glass, with the cores being very bright at 153X. The only difference between them was their apparent size, M-53 is smaller and much farther away from us than M-3. I then turned the telescope on M-13 and M-92, which again looked just like the others, piles of shattered glass wiuth intensely bright cores. All of them showed far too many stars to count.
I then took at look at one of my most favorite spots oin the sky, Marakrian's Chain. This is a chain of galaxies that starts with M-84 and M-86 and extends more than two degrees into Coma Berenices. Every member was of course easily visible and I could see the odd shape of the interacting galaxies NGC-4435 and NGC-4438, also known as "The Eyes." Like M-42, I will have to return to this field at a later time, I could spend an entire night observing just this one area, there's that many galaxies to see there. Then I went on to look at one of the best galaxies anywhere in the sky for small telescope, M-104. This nearly edge-on spiral galaxy is also known as the Sombrero Galaxy. At a distance of some 40 million light years, it shines at about 8th mangitude and shows a very prominent nuclear region and central bulge. Along one side the dust lane was visible as a dark zone that spanned the width of the central bulge. By 1:30 in the morning, fog was rolling in but before I started to take down the telescope and load it into the car, I stopped to look at Saturn. Six of it's moons were visible and the Cassini and Encke gaps were apparent in the rings. The colors on the planet were very apparent, making the view look as though it was a color pen and ink drawing at 250 and 400X.
I was very happy with how the views turned out, even though sky conditions were quite poor. The views vindictated the money, time and effort I spend building the telescope, now I can enoy the rewards for many years to come.