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[M 79]

Messier 79

Observations and Descriptions

Discovered by Pierre Méchain on October 26, 1780.

Messier: M79.
December 17, 1780. 79. 5h 15m 16s (78d 49' 02") -24d 42' 57"
Méchain: (78d 47' 10") -24d 44' 46"
"Nebula without star, situated below Lepus, & on the same parallel as a star of sixth magnitude: seen by M. Méchain on October 26, 1780. M. Messier looked for it on the following December 17: this nebula is beautiful; the center brilliant, the nebulosity a little diffuse; its position was determined from the star Epsilon Leporis, of fourth magnitude."

William Herschel
[PT 1814 p. , reprinted in Scientific Papers, Vol. 2 p. 537]
[WH 1814] Jan. 13, 1806. Large 10 feet. "The 79th of the Connoiss. [M 79 = NGC 1904] is a cluster of stars of a globular construction, and certainly extremely rich. Towards the centre the stars are extremely compressed, and even a good way from it. With 171 the diameter is a little less than 1/3 of the field, and with 220 a little more; the field of one being 9'0", and of the other 8'0", a mean of both gives the diameter of the cluster 2'50", but I suppose that the lowness of the situation prevents my seeing the tiny scattered stars, so that this cluster is probably larger than it appears." (*)
(*) The large 10 feet telescope is in a considerable degree subject to the obstructions arising from change of temperature, and tarnish; but as it can be directed to any part of the heavensin a few minutes, and is easily prepared for observation, it becomes a very useful instrument when the clearness of the atmosphere is interrupted by flying clouds; ot when the place of an object is not visible in the finder, or night glass, is to be ascertained.

[PT 1818 p. , reprinted in Scientific Papers, Vol. 2, p. 601]
The 79th of the Connoissance. [M 79 = NGC 1904]
"1783, 7 feet telescope. With 57 nebulous, with 86 strong suspicion of its being stars."
"1799, 10 feet telescope. 300 shows the stars of it with difficulty."
"1784, 20 feet telescope. A beautiful cluster of stars, nearly 3 minutes in diameter."
"1806, large 10 feet telescope. A globulat cluster, the stars of which are extremely compressed in the middle; with 171 and 220 the diameter is 2 '50", but the lowness of the situation probably prevents my seeing the whole of its extent."
By the observation of the 10 feet telescope the profundity of this cluster is of the 344th order.

Smyth: CCIII [203]. M79.
CCIII. 79 M. Leporis.
AR 5h 17m 50s, Dec S 24d 39'.9
Mean Epoch of Observation: 1835.98 [Dec 1835]
A bright stellar nebula, of a milky white tinge, under the Hare's feet, the following edge of whose disc just precedes a line formed by two stars lying across the vertical, and it is followed nearly on the parallel by a 9th-magnitude star. It is a fine object, blazing towards the centre, and was discovered by Méchain in 1780. It was resolved by WH into a mottled nebulosity, in 1783, with the 7-foot telescope; but on applying the twenty-foot in the following year, he fairly made it a "beautiful cluster of stars nearly 3 minutes [of arc] in diameter, of a globular construction, and certainly extremely rich." The mean apparent place is obtained by differentiating from Xi Leporis, which is a fine white star, with a red companion of the 7th magnitude in the np [north preceding, NW] quadrant. An imaginary line run from Betelgeuze before Alpha Leporis and over Beta, will hit this object about 4deg south-west of the latter.

John Herschel, General Catalogue: GC 1112.
GC 1112 = M79. RA 5h 18m 25.6s, NPD 114d 39' 39.5" (1860.0) [Right Ascension and North Polar Distance]
Glob. Cl.; pL; eRi; eC; rrr. 4 observations by W. & J. Herschel.
Globular cluster; pretty large; extremely rich; extremely compressed; well resolved.

Dreyer: NGC 1904.
NGC 1904 = GC 1112; Méchain, M 79.
RA 5h 18m 25s, NPD 114d 39.3' (1860.0) [Right Ascension and North Polar Distance]
Glob. Cl., pL, eRi, eC, rrr; = M79
Globular cluster, pretty large, extremely rich, extremely compressed, well resolved.
  • Observing Reports for M79 (IAAC Netastrocatalog)

    Hartmut Frommert
    Christine Kronberg

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    Last Modification: June 26, 2001