(IAAC) OBJECT: M79 INST: 16" Newtonian f/4.59

Observer:  Todd Gross
Your skill:  Intermediate 
Date and UT of observation: 10/02/97 0815 GMT
Location & latitude: 22 miles west of Boston, Ma. 42.3N
Site classification: Suburban
Limiting magnitude (visual): 5.3 (estimated) 3.8 (est) in vicinity of object
Seeing (1 to 10 - worst-best): est. 4
Moon up (phase?): No
Instrument: 16" Newtonian-dob w. 96/99% coatings f/4.59
Magnifications: 69x, 277x
Filters used: none
Object: M79
Object data:  Globular cluster
Skies were terribly light polluted this far south in my sky..(well south
of Orion) with a limiting magnitude of no more than 4, perhaps even 3.5
(this while I was running 5.3-5.5 or so nr. the zenith) Nevertheless, high
power was able to almost completely resolve M79, and I would have had even
more luck had the skies been steadier, and thus the stars crisper.
A barely resolved blob, looking much like M13 does in 4" aperture was
noted when I first found it at 69x. It was an easy find. However, when
increasing the magnification up to 277x, I cracked through most of the
light pollution, and resolved it nicely. In fact, M79 at this aperture
looks very much like the figure of a headless man holding a hockey stick
(on our left, his right) with the central core of M79 as his tummy. This
is with South facing up, and west left.
This was a mid-sized globular, again it was fully resolved on the edges,
mostly resolved towards the middle, (but stars were a bit blurry) with a
lumpy & fairly tight core. Interesting to see this in the winter sky
where Globulars are rare.
- Todd
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