(IAAC) Obj: M6, M7, ngc6416 - Inst: Naked eye, 7x50 binoculars

Observer: Lew Gramer
Your skills: Intermediate
Date and UT of Observation: 1997-07-4/5, 03:30 UT
Location: Savoy, MA, USA (42N, elev 700m)
Site classification: rural
Limiting magnitude: 7.1 (zenith)
Seeing: 5 of 10 - mediocre, increasing cumulus
Moon up: no
Instrument: Naked eye, 50mm Simmons binoculars
Magnification: 1x, 7x
Filters used: None
Object: M6, M7, ngc 6416
Category: Open clusters
Constellation: Sco
Data: mags 4.2, 3.3, 5.7  sizes 15', 80', 18'
RA/DE: 17h45m  -32o
M6 and M7 travel together just off of the mainstream of the
Summer Milky Way, in a fascinating clump of naked-eye haze
patches NE of the many tail stars of Sco. M7 even seemed to
"glitter" to the naked eye, with the promise of many resolved
stars just on the edge of vision. The edges of both M6 and
M7 are just visible in the same binocular field, centered
just SW of the fainter open cluster n6416. This bino view is
one of INCREDIBLE stellar complexity, with the well-resolved
NW edges of M7 filling the lower-left (SE) edge, M6 appearing
as a sparkling and MUCH smaller irregular blur peaking around
the upper-right (NW) edge, and faint n6416 being fully visible
as a sparkling hazy patch toward the middle from M6. Scanning
up to M6, a yellowish mag 6 star rides its ENE edge. Bringing
M7 into full view, the observer is first struck by a dizzying
myriad of field and cluster stars, then by the unresolved haze
of perhaps hundreds of stars lying beneath these. Soon however,
"dark" areas of relatively less concentration become visible
in these light clouds, especially to the NW and SE. Last noted:
a striking pair of RED mag 7 stars, just S of the blur of 6416.