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[M 26]

Messier 26

Observations and Descriptions

Discovered on June 20, 1764 by Charles Messier.

Messier: M26.
June 20, 1764. 26. 18h 32m 22s (278d 05' 25") -9d 38' 14"
A cluster near Eta and Omicron in Antinous [now Alpha and Delta Scuti], between which there is another one of more brightness: with a telescope of 3.5-foot [FL] one cannot distinguish them, one needs to employ a good instrument. This cluster contains no nebulosity. (diam. 2')

[Mem. Acad. for 1771, p. 445 (first Messier catalog)]
In the same night [June 20 to 21, 1764], I discovered another cluster of stars near n & o of Antinous, among which there is one which is brighter than the others: with a refractor of three feet [FL], it is not possible to distinguish them, it requires to employ a strong instrument: I saw them very well with a Gregorian telescope which magnified 104 times: among them one doesn't see any nebulosity, but with a refractor of 3 feet & a half, these stars don't appear individually, but in the form of a nebula; the diameter of that cluster may be 2 minutes of arc. I have determined its position with regard to the star o of Antinous, its right ascension is 278d 5' 25", & its declination 9d 38' 14" south.
[p. 456] 1764.Jun.20. RA: 278. 5.25, Dec: 9.38.14.A, Diam: 0. 2. Cluster of stars near the two stars known as n and o of Antinoüs; they don't contain any nebulosity.

Bode: Bode 59.
Star cluster with nebula.

William Herschel
[Unpublished Observations of Messier's Nebulae and Clusters. Scientific Papers, Vol. 2, p. 652]
A cluster of scattered stars, not rich.

Smyth: DCLVIII [658]. M26
DCLVIII. 26 M. Clypei Sobieskii [Scuti].
AR 18h 36m 27s, Dec S 9d 33'.3
Mean epoch of the Observation: 1835.26 [April 1835].
A small and coarse, but bright, cluster of stars, preceding the left foot of Antinous, in a fine condensed part of the Milky Way; and it follows 2 Aquilae by only a half degree. The principle members of this group lie nearly in a vertical position with the equatorial line, and the place is that of a small pair in the south, or upper portion of the field [in telescope]. This neat double star is of the 9th and 10th magnitudes, with an angle [PA] = 48 deg, and is followed by an 8th [mag star], the largest [brightest] in the assemblage, by 4s. Altogether the object is pretty, and must, from all analogy, possess affinity among its verious components; but the collocation and adjustment of these wondrous firmamental clusters, and their probable distances, almost stun our present faculties. There are many astral splashes in this crowded district of the Galaxy, among which fine specimens of what may be termed luminiferous ether, are met with.

John Herschel (1847): h 3758.
h 3758.
Sweep 591 (May 27, 1835).
RA 18h 35m 53.8s, NPD 99d 33m 39s (1830.0) [Right Ascension and North Polar Distance]
cl VII. class; p rich; irreg R; p well insulated; not much comp M; 10' diam; st 12....15; one 9m taken.
Cluster of the VII. class [after W. Herschel; "Compressed clusters of small and large (i.e., faint and bright) stars"]; pretty rich; irregularly round; pretty well insulated; not much compressed toward the middle; 10' diameter; stars from 12th to 15th magnitude; [position of] one of 9m taken.

John Herschel, General Catalogue: GC 4432.
GC 4432 = h 3758 = M26.
RA 18h 37m 32.6s, NPD 99d 31' 57.9" (1860.0) [Right Ascension and North Polar Distance]
Cl; cL; pRi; pC; st 12...15 6 observations by W. & J. Herschel.
Cluster; considerably large; pretty rich; pretty compressed; stars from 12th to 15th magnitude.

Dreyer: NGC 6694.
NGC 6694 = GC 4432 = h 3758; M 26.
RA 18h 37m 33s, NPD 99d 32.0' (1860.0) [Right Ascension and North Polar Distance]
Cl, cL, pRi, pC, st 12...15; = M26
Cluster, considerably large, pretty rich, pretty compressed, stars from 12th to 15th magnitude.
  • Observing Reports for M26 (IAAC Netastrocatalog)

    Hartmut Frommert
    Christine Kronberg

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    Last Modification: May 22, 2005