M22 using a 50mm Galileoscope


This observation was made from my heavily light polluted backyard in Winston-Salem, NC on August 16, 2012. After almost a month of cloudy weather it had finally cleared off last Thursday night, so I took my 10×50 Nikon binoculars out to take a look at the sky. The sky was bright in town as it always is here, but I was still able to see M22 with the binoculars as a round gray spot northeast of lambda Sagittarius. Since it was late in the evening and I had not set up a telescope, I decided to grab my 50mm f/10 Galileoscope for a look at M22. Sometimes it is fun using the telescope minimalist approach when observing, at any rate it is a great grab and go scope for fast setup and observing.

Using the little 50mm refractor with a 20mm Siris Plossl eyepiece, which gave a magnification of 25x and a true field-of-view of 02 degrees and 05 minutes, it was an easy star hop to M22 from lambda Sagittarius. The wind was calm and the temperature was a comfortable 74 degrees fahrenheit, but the humidity was 69% which made for a bright hazy sky with all the light pollution in town. Looking at the globular cluster, M22, through the little refractor, it appeared to be a small round gray spot that was brighter in the center and best seen with averted vision or with movement of the scope. There were no stars seen in the cluster with the little scope but it was still a very satisfying view given the conditions.

Back in early June of this year, I had a chance to look at this cluster from home with my 150mm C-6 SCT using a 10mm eyepiece at 150x, stars could be seen all across the gray cluster of unresolved stars. Still though the view that I will always remember is the one I had with my 4-inch TV102 refractor several years ago from Oak Island, NC using my 13mm eyepiece for a magnification of 67x. I had hoped over to M22 from the top of the tea-pot, lambda Sagittarius, and was not ready for the view I received when I looked in the telescope. Yes, M22 was still a gray spot with stars visible across the cluster but it appeared to be immersed in a round swarm of star-dust, faint stars, about 35 to 40 arc minutes in diameter. I have never seen this before due to the light pollution at my usual observing sights. Seeing M22 over the Atlantic Ocean without any light pollution there, was simply amazing to me. It was a view I will never forget.

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