NGC 5457, M101

I thought that this year I would try to see more within some of the brighter galaxies. Take for example M101. Did you know that there ten HII regions in this galaxy? They are NGC 5447, 49, 50, 51, 53, 55, 58, 61, 62 and 5471. Wow! There are ten knots of stars and nebula to be observed that have been given an NGC number.

Well, I started the process last week while at the East Coast Star Party, along the coast of NC. I need to remember that the elevation was only 11 feet above sea level. Then there was the fire that had burned 45,000 acres to date. Smoke did come through the star party on two evenings but then the wind changed directions and it cleared out. I’ll bet there was still some smoke in the upper atmosphere though.

What I am saying is that when I can get to the mountains of NC with over 3,000 plus feet of elevation and dark skies I should see more than I did on the coast. Even so I did see one of the NGC numbered HII regions in this galaxy at sea level. I really do not know how many can be seen with a 10 inch dob, but I did see one (NGC 5461) and I think that I will be able to see more when I get to a higher elevation with clear dark skies.

I plan to do the same with M33 and M31 later this year. This should be a fun project and one that I am looking forward to completing. I wonder, how many have you seen? Let me know if you have seen any and the size and type of telescope used.

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