(IAAC) Obj: M34 - Inst: Newt 4.2" f/4.25

Observer: Lew Gramer
Your skills: Intermediate
Date and UT of Observation: 1996-1-8/9, 00:00 UT
Location: Sheepsfold, MA, USA (42N)
Site classification: semiurban
Limiting magnitude: 5.7
Seeing: 3 - medium
Moon up: no
Instrument: Newt Reflector 4.2" f/4.25 (AstroScan)
Magnification: 20x, 40x, 65x
Filters used: None
Object: M34
Category: Open cluster
Constellation: Per
Data: mag 5.2  size 35' (catalog) 45' (observed)
RA/DE: 2h42m  +42o47m
This little Milky Way gem forms an easy triangle with the
stars Algol and Kappa Persei. At 20x, the cluster reveals
a pretty "bow-tie" of 6-7 mag 8, oriented E-W, along with
a suggestion of a "cluster after-image" of fainter stars
some 40' from the cluster center. 15 stars of mag 11 and
brighter could be resolved between this "after-image" and
the main cluster center. At 40x and even at 65x, the so-
called after-image did not resolve further, becoming in-
distinct from the background - likely not a real extension
to the cluster, despite appearances at low power. In the
main area of the cluster though, some 50 to 60 stars could
now be resolved, ranging in magnitude from 8 to 12, and
with a strong "clumpiness" in the unresolved background,
especially N of center. The cluster filled the 65x, 45'
field of view near perfectly, excluding the "afterimage".

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