M33 Quick Study, Sketch, and Comment

m33M33 is popular with observers because of its size, features, and brightnesss. It has a relatively low surface brightness, so it takes a medium sized scope that has good wide field capability to see it. On some very dark nights in good observing locations, some people with good night eyes can see it, but it usually takes a binoculars. Details of the arms are more allusive, unless one has several inches of aperture.

This observation was made with a 12.5 inch Dobsonian but I had an astro video camera in place of the eyepiece. The sketch sheet has all the notes along with a partial star field and the major detail for the arms. It is a very complex but beautiful galaxy to study. You can see from the notes that I intend to go back.

The more amazing thing I was pondering as I observed is the variety of galaxy positions relative to earth that God deliberately established. Remembering that He wants us to see His handiwork and to understand that it points to his attributes (Psalm 19:1 and other scriptures attest to this), the process of studying detail for this galaxy and others becomes fascinating. Arms, nucleus, star clusters, nebulosity, and various other features all vary among galaxies, but the variety of angles with which they appear to us is an overall factor that gives also gives us contrasting views among the great galaxies that amateurs can observe. This one is more complex in appearance than some, with arms that are irregular in shape, but it also has an abundance of sub-objects within its reach. I have labeled two of them but there are many more. Suffice it to say that God is truly wonderful to permit us to view galaxies like M33.

“Who are you that you fear mortal men, the sons of men, who are but grass, that you forget the Lord your Maker, who stretched out the heavens…”     Isaiah 51:12-13

You can visit www.christworksministries.org for more sketches and stories of galaxies and other sky objects.

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