|Date: ||Sat, 05 Aug 1995, 10:27:42 -0500 (EST)
||Tony Cecce, Corning, NY
|Subject: ||August Messier Tour
Twelve Month Tour of the Messier Catalog
This is the month that we begin to sneak into the summer Milky Way and the
heart of our galaxy as we find 12 more object. Some are visible to the
naked eye, all are possible in binoculars. There are six globular clusters,
four open clusters, and two diffuse nebula. Many of these objects also
appear to be in pairs, either in visual appearance or location.
August Messier Objects
- M3, M4, M5, M53, M68, M80, M83
- This pair of globular clusters in the middle of Ophiuchus are
easily swept up in binoculars looking like small blue snow balls. Through
an 8" telescope M12 is well resolved while M10 is slightly more fuzzy
looking. Both become very bright towards the center.
- A small, fairly faint globular cluster in Uphiuchus. It is a
tough binocular object, appearing as a very small faint patch of light
possibly requiring averted vision. In a telescope, M107 is a larger and
brighter fuzzy patch of light than what can be seen in binoculars.
- Another small, relatively faint globular cluster in Ophiuchus. M9
is very similar to M107, only slightly brighter. Another tough, but possible
- Another pair of globular clusters in Ophiuchus separated by about
four degrees. Fairly easy to find in binoculars, they are smaller than
M10 and M12 thus not quite as obvious. These clusters are not resolvable
through small scopes, and appear as round fuzzy patches brightening towards
the center. M19 is slightly brighter than M62.
- This is a pair of large, bright open clusters in Scorpius visible
to the naked eye. Binoculars provide the best view of these clusters. Both
are completely resolvable in 10x50 binoculars and can be fit into the same
field of view. M7 is the larger and brighter of the pair.
- This is a bright emmission nebula in Sagittarius, easily visible to
the naked eye. The common name of M8 is the Lagoon nebula. In binoculars
M8 is an oval cloud of light larger than the full moon with several bright
stars embedded within it. A telescope makes this nebula larger and
brighter but does not really improve the view.
- Another diffuse nebula in Sagittarius only 1.4 degrees northwest of
M8 and is called the Trifid nebula. This is easily seen in binoculars
looking like a cloud of smoke around some bright stars. A view through
a telescope appears much the same, although try to pick out the three
dust lanes that gives M20 its name. This is a somewhat difficult object
to see right away, at first glance it looks like the optics are in need
of cleaning and are causing the light from the bright stars to "smear".
- This is a small, but bright open cluster in Sagitarius right next
to M20. Binoculars show a very small bright patch partially resolvable.
Small telescopes easily resolve all of the clusters members. M8, M20, and
M21 are all within the same binocular field and lie in a very rich
region of the Milky Way. This view is one of the finest to be found.
- The last object of the month is a large open cluster in Sagittarius.
through binoculars M23 is a large, hazy patch of light almost the size of
the full moon. A telescope at low powers easily resolves this cluster
among a rich background of other stars.
- M13, M14, M22, M28, M54, M69, M70, M92
A.J. Cecce, Rev. 7/95
Twelve Month Tour Index -
August tour in Ascii
Last Modification: 6 Apr 1998, 21:30 MEST