Binocular Messiers

by Tom Campbell


June 27, 2003

ObserverTom Campbell
LocationIola, Kansas (Long: 9524'W Lat: 3755'N)
EquipmentSimmons 10x50WA Binoculars
Time11:15pm - 12:00am CDT (04:15-05:00 UT)
TransparencyMostly Clear (7/10)
SeeingMostly Stable (7/10)
WeatherTemperatures in the 60s. There was little or no breeze.
Observing Summary
OPHIUCHUSM9, M19, M62, NGC-6342
The weather patterns were unstable tonight. It had been clear most of the day, but a front rolled through a few hours before dusk and didn't clear out until twilight. I decided to catch up on some of my binocular observing lists.

M 19OphiuchusGlobular Cluster11:15pm CDT
NGC 6273RA: 17h 02m 38sDec: -26 16'Mag: 6.8

This globular was fairly easy to detect as a faint smudge with a nearly stellar core. What stood out the most was that there were three pairs of optical doubles surrounding the eastern side of the cluster, seeming to point right at the globular.

M 62OphiuchusGlobular Cluster11:20pm CDT
NGC 6266RA: 17h 01m 13sDec: -30 07'Mag: 6.4

This globular was rather large, but difficult to detect without using averted vision. It had a stellar core.

M 9OphiuchusGlobular Cluster11:25pm CDT
NGC 6333RA: 17h 19m 12sDec: -18 31'Mag: 7.8

This globular was really faint - only visible with averted vision. It only appeared as a faint smudge of light.

NGC 6342OphiuchusGlobular Cluster11:30pm CDT
RA: 17h 21m 10sDec: -19 35'Mag: 9.5

This cluster was in the same field of view as M9. A stellar core was sometimes visible.

M 23SagittariusOpen Cluster11:35pm CDT
NGC 6494RA: 17h 56m 54sDec: -19 01'Mag: 5.5

This cluster appeared as a dim wispy cloud. With averted vision, one or two stars popped into view.

M 26ScutumGlobular Cluster11:40pm CDT
NGC 6694RA: 18h 45m 12sDec: -09 23'Mag: 8.0

This cluster was really faint, only visible with averted vision.

M 22SagittariusGlobular Cluster11:45pm CDT
NGC 6656RA: 18h 36m 24sDec: -23 54'Mag: 5.2

This roundish globular was really large. No stars could be resolved, although there was a noticeable brightening in the center.

M 7 (Ptolemy's Cluster)ScorpiusOpen Cluster11:50pm CDT
NGC 6475RA: 17h 53m 54sDec: -34 47'Mag: 3.3

This open cluster appeared rich and wide, a great target for binoculars. About two dozen stars were visible, with the richest concentration near the center.

M 6 (Butterfly)ScorpiusOpen Cluster11:55pm CDT
NGC 6405RA: 17h 40m 25sDec: -32 14'Mag: 4.2

This cluster appeared as an oval-shaped patch of nebulosity with about 7-8 stars visible within.