21 Oct 2006 TIMPA, Avra Valley, AZ (map)
12x36 Canon Image Stabilized Binoculars
Bright, beautiful, well suited to the 5° field of the binos, flanked by M32 and M110, a bright sharp core with the halo either side extending for about 3°
28 Aug 2005 TIMPA, Avra Valley, AZ (map)
46cm f/4.5 Deep Violet
Large!! actually make that enormous! The bright core is a large ball of stars at the center with the oval halo reaching past either edge of the field even at the lowest power, extended northeast-southwest, a dark rift separates a spiral arm along the southeastern edge, M32 and M110 flank the core above and below
3 Jan 1764
The beautiful nebula of the belt of Andromeda, shaped like a spindle; M. Messier has investigated it with different instruments, & he didn't recognize a star: it resembles two cones or pyramids of light, opposed at their bases, the axes of which are in direction NW-SE; the two points of light or the apisces are about 40 arc minutes apart; the common base of the pyramids is about 15'. This nebula was discovered by Simon Marius, & consequently observed by different astronomers. M. le Gentil has given a drawing in the Memoirs of the Academy for 1759, page 453. It is reported on the English Atlas.
Rev. T.W. Webb
Hardwick, Herefordshire, England (map)
(M31) One of the grandest in the heavens; long, oval, or irregularly triangular, ill-bounded, and brightening to the centre; so plain to the naked eye it seems strange that the ancients scarcely mention it. It is however, referred to as a familiar object by the Persian astronomer, Sûfi, in the tenth century. By moving the telescope rapidly to gain contrast, Bond extended it to the surprising dimensions of 4° in length and 2½° in breadth, of which common instruments show little, and less in proportion to the increase in power. No telescope has been able to deal with its nature. Bonds 14-19/20-in. found no resolution, though it was seen through a rich stratum containing 1500 stars. It detected however two curious dark streaks, like narrow clefts, both beyond any ordinary instruments (but readily shown in photos as dark rings), in which the darker of them forms in reality the boundary of one side of the nebula as seen with a small aperture: both well seen by Se. with 9-9/10-in. achr.: I have caught one with difficulty with 5½-in. achr., '63. Grover has seen both with 6½-in. silvered mirror, and I have traced then through a long extent with 8-in. mirror (With), 1864; but this was after knowledge of the fact, which has a great influence upon the eye; the truth of H.'s remark being often exemplified, that less optical power will show an object than was required for its discovery. Huggins finds spectrum continuous, but cut off at red end.
The ninth is that in the girdle of Andromeda, which is undoubtedly the nearest of all the great nebulae; its extent is above a degree and a half in length and, in even one of the narrowest places, not less than 16' in breadth. The brightest part of it approaches to the resolvable nebulosity, and begins to shew a faint red colour; which, from many observations on the colour of and magnitude of nebulae, I believe to be an indication that its distance in this coloured part does not exceed 2000 times the distance of Sirius.
There is a very considerable, broad, pretty faint, small nebula [M110] near it; my Sister discovered it August 27, 1783, with a Newtonian 2-feet sweeper. It shews the same faint colour with the great one, and is, no doubt, in the neighborhood of it. It is not the 32d of the Connoissance des Temps [M32]; which is a pretty large round nebula, much condensed in the middle, and south following the great one; but this is about two-thirds of a degree north preceding it, in a line parallel to Beta and Nu Andromedae.
Drawings, descriptions and CCD photos are copyright Andrew Cooper unless otherwise noted, no usage without permission. Use for non-profit and educational reasons is generally given on request.
Positional and some physical information is from the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Additional object data from the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France.
The Digitized Sky Survey was produced at the Space Telescope Science Institute under U.S. Government grant NAG W-2166. The images of these surveys are based on photographic data obtained using the Oschin Schmidt Telescope on Palomar Mountain and the UK Schmidt Telescope.
Dark nebulae data from E.E. Barnard, A Photographic Atlas of Selected Regions of the Milky Way. Ed. Edwin B. Frost and Mary R. Calvert. Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1927
Object descriptions of Rev. Webb from Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes sixth edition, Rev. T.W. Webb, 1917, edited by Rev T.E.Espin.