|M63: Spiral Galaxy (Canes Venatici) RA: 13h 15.8m / DEC: +42° 02'.1|
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder
Corcaroli is the brightest star in Canes Venatici. This 2.9 magnitude star is easily visible to the naked eye from a typical suburban location. The telescopic view reveals a 5th magnitude companion. This fine double star also serves as the starting point for several good star hops within this spring constellation. One of those hops will take you to the delicate spiral galaxy, M63, located 5.3 degrees northeast of Corcaroli. My 10-inch Starfinder shows quite a bit of detail at 129X. M63 appears 9'x5' in size with an 8th magnitude star positioned just inside the western edge. A trio of 12th magnitude GSC stars stands at the opposite end. The inner 3'x2' region features a bright stellar core. While the immediate impression has M63 aligned along an east-west axis, the core region is aligned northwest-southeast. Delicate spiral arms are seen extending from this central nebulosity, curving gently to the east and west from the core.
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Revised: February 13, 2002 [WDF]