(IAAC) Object: M36, M37, M38 - Instrument: 7x35 binos

Observer: Lew Gramer
Your skills: Intermediate
Date and UT of Observation: 1996-12-03, 04:20 UT
Location: Medford, MA, USA (42N)
Site classification: urban
Limiting magnitude: 5.2
Seeing: 2 - good
Moon up: no
Instrument: 35mm binos
Magnification: 7x
Filters used: None
Object: M36, M37, M38
Category: Open clusters
Constellation: Aur
Data: mags 6.0, 5.6, 6.4  sizes 12', 24', 21'
RA/DE: 05h36m  +34o08m, 05h52m  +32o33m, 05h28m  +35o50m
M36 stands out as the brightest of this trio of open
clusters in the Goatherd, when viewed through such small
binoculars. This may be because it also has the smallest
concentration of bright stars in it, as is apparent even
in the 7x35s, where a small central condensation is clear.
M37 on the other hand, is more evenly illuminated, and
more diffuse, than M36, and appears somewhat dimmer, even
though it has the highest total magnitude of the trio.
Last of all, M38 barely stands out in 7x35s under these
conditions, and required the use of averted vision and a
very steady hand to see at all. No hint of resolution was
apparent in any of the three, although surprisingly, M37
did occasionally show a possible glint of individual stars.

Karen Simmons & Lew Gramer dedalus@alum.mit.edu http://www.tiac.net/users/lewkaren