|Right Ascension||05 : 24.5 (h:m)
|Declination||-24 : 33 (deg:m)
|Visual Brightness||7.7 (mag)
|Apparent Dimension||8.7 (arc min)
Discovered 1780 by Pierre Méchain.
M79 is a beautiful globular cluster at a quite unusual location in the sky: Most globulars are grouped around the Galactic center, but this is one of the few which are situated in the other hemisphere, i.e. it is beyond us for hypothetical observers in the central stellar bulge of our Milky Way galaxy. It is little over 40,000 light years from us, but about 60,000 light years from the galactic center.
M79's apparent diameter of 8.7 minutes of arc corresponds to a linear extension of over 100 light years. This cluster is slightly elliptical, extended at position angle 45 deg, and has only 7 known variables. It is receding at about 200 km/sec.
About 0.5 degrees to the SW lies the 5.5 mag star ADS 3954 with its 7th mag companion, separated by 3".
Last Modification: 9 Dec 1999, 22:58 MET