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[M 34]

Messier 34

Observations and Descriptions

Discovered by Giovanni Batista Hodierna before 1654.
Independently rediscovered by Charles Messier on August 25, 1764.

Messier: M34.
August 25, 1764. 34. 2h 27m 27s (36d 51' 37") +41d 39' 32"
Cluster of small stars, between the head of Medusa (Algol) & the left foot of Andromeda, a little below the parallel of Gamma [Andromedae]: with an ordinary telescope of 3 foot [FL] one can distinguish the stars. Its position has been determined from Beta [Persei], the head of Medusa. (diam. 15')

[Mem. Acad. for 1771, p. 448-449 (first Messier catalog)]
In the same night of [August] 25 to 26, [1764,] I have determined the position of a cluster of small stars between the head of the Medusa & the left foot of Andromedaalmost on the parallel of the star Gamma of that letter constellation. With an ordinary [non-achromatic] refractor of 3 feet [FL], one distinguishes these stars; the cluster may have 15 minutes in extension. I have determined its position with regard to the star Beta in the head of the Medusa [Beta Persei, Algol]; its right ascension has been concluded at 36d 51' 37", & its declination as 41d 39' 32" north.
[p. 457] 1764.Aug.25. RA: 36.51.37, Dec: 41.39.32.B, Diam: 0.15. Cluster of small stars between the head of the Medusa & the left foot of Andromeda, at little distance to the parallel of the star Gamma of the latter constellation.

Bode: Bode 7.
A star cluster.
On September 2 [1774], I undertook a closer determination of the position of the star cluster which shows up to the naked eye between Algol in the Medusa's head and Alamak at the foot of Andromeda, and found its separation from Algol as 5deg 18', from Alamak as 7deg 6', and from Pi in the Medusa's Head as 4deg 27', and from p there as 4deg 51'.

William Herschel:
[PT 1818, p. 443. Reprinted in: Scientific Papers, Vol. 2, p. 598]
The 34th of the Connoissance. [M 34 = NGC 1039]
"1799, 7 feet finder. It is visible."
"1783, 1794, 7 feet telescope. A cluster of stars; with 120, I think it is accompanied with mottled light, like stars at a distance."
"1784, 1786, 20 feet telescope. A coarse cluster of large stars of different sizes."
By the observation of the 7 feet telescope, the profundity of this cluster does probably not exceed the 144th order.

John Herschel (1833): h 248.
h 248 = M34.
Sweep 389 (December 23, 1831)
RA 2h 31m 6.1s, NPD 47d 56m 43s (1830.0) [Right Ascension and North Polar Distance]
Fine cluster; about 20 st 9 10...11 m and as many less. Fills field, coarsely scattered. Place that of D (h 1123).
Fine cluster; about 20 stars of 9m, 10 to 11 m and as many less [fainter]. Fills field, coarsely scattered. The place given is that of the Double Star h 1123.

Sweep 190 (October 29, 1828)
RA 2h 31m 8.7s, NPD 47d 57m 50s (1830.0)
Poor; coarse; very badly seen through haze.

Smyth: CIV [104]. M34.
CIV. 34 M. Persei.
AR 2h 31m 46s, Dec N 42d 02'.7
Mean Epoch of Observation: 1837.78 [Oct 1837]
A douvble star in a cluster, between the right foot of Andromeda and the head of Medusa; where a line from Polaris between Epsilon Cassiopeia and Alpha Persei to within 2deg of the parallel of Algol, will meet it. A and B, 8th magnitudes, and both white. It is in a scattered but elegant group of stars from the 8th to the 13th degree of brightness, on a dark ground, and several of them form into coarse pairs. This was first seen and registered by Messier, in 1764, as a "mass of small stars;" and in 1783 was resolved by Sir W. Herschel with a seven-foot reflector: with the 20-foot he made it "a coarse cluster of large [bright] stars of different sizes [magnitudes]." By the method he applied to fathom the galaxy, he concluded the profundity of this object not to exceed the 144th order.

John Herschel, General Catalogue: GC 584.
GC 584 = h 248 = M34.
RA 2h 33m 2.3s, NPD 47d 49' 25.0" (1860.0) [Right Ascension and North Polar Distance]
Cl; B; vL; lC; sc st 9 8 observations by W. & J. Herschel.
Cluster; bright; very large; little compressed; scattered stars of 9th magnitude.

Dreyer: NGC 1039.
NGC 1039 = GC 584 = h 248; M 34.
RA 2h 33m 2s, NPD 47d 49.4' (1860.0) [Right Ascension and North Polar Distance]
Cl, B, vL, lC, sc st 9; = M34
Cluster, bright, very large, little compressed, scattered stars of 9th magnitude.
Remark: Figure in Pihl [M.N. xxviii]
  • Observing Reports for M34 (IAAC Netastrocatalog)

    Hartmut Frommert
    Christine Kronberg

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    Last Modification: May 22, 2005