Messier 83

83 final

Object:   M83 (NGC 5236) Date:               2019 April 29
Type:              Spiral galaxy
Constellation:           Hydra Time & altitude:          23.20 UT   9º
Catalogue data: Seeing (5 high):                               3/5
            R.A:                13h 37m Transparency (5 high):                   2/5
            Dec:                -29º 52 Telescope:     0.5m f4.1  Dob.
            Magnitude     8.2 Eyepiece       17mm Ethos  x120
            Size (mins)    11 x 10 Filters:            None


My final Messier. Missed it in spring 2018 due to murky weather. Tried for it again on 2019 April 11 01.10 UT at 8° altitude but nothing visible in the 50mm finder below Spica.

Tonight NELM is better than 5.5m (UMi stars) and immediately before trying M83 I’ve a good view of M104 Sombrero Galaxy at 27° altitude. I then observed M83 through culmination at 9° altitude. Next to nothing is visible. In the eyepiece the sky background is bright and milky. Checking my drawing against Megastar, the faintest star recorded is only 12.7m and I’ve missed a 12.5m star, suggesting the view is poorer than what a 15cm aperture would offer in near optimum circumstances.

M83’s centre shows like an out-of-focus star set in a vague, grainy round glow. The halo is mostly invisible, just glimpsed as it washes in and out of visibility. The halo extends no further than half way to the middle star in the line of three just SW, so is no more than 5 arcmins across. Tried x260 but the view was worse than at x120.