Messier 36, 37, 38 (M 36, 37, 38)

Introduction | Map | Pseudo Photo (Starry Night 7) | My Own Photos | My Own Observations | References

On this page I collect my observations of the open star clusters M 36, M 37, and M 30 in the constellation Auriga.

 

Introduction

Auriga (with main star Capella) belongs also to the constellations that were more or less unknown to me thus far. At the core the constellation forms a hexagon if you take it exactly, but it is likely that you will perceive only a pentagon... This is a very striking pattern, but it is located very high up sometimes (for example, in February), so you have to look steeply upwards to see it. Perhaps this is a reason for my ignorance with respect to it...

In Auriga there are three more striking Messier objects, the open star clusters M 36, M 37, and M 38. They are located almost on a line, which projects from the outside into the hexagon. The exact sequence is: M 37 (outside) - M 36 Inside) - M 38 (further inside) (from East to West).

M 36   M 37   M 38
Size: 12' (Stoyan)
Distance: 3,300 light years (Stoyan)
Rating: *** (Stoyan)
     Size: 16' (Stoyan)
Distance: 4,500 light years (Stoyan)
Rating: *** (Stoyan)
     Size: 25' (Stoyan) - nearly moon size
Distance: 3,500 light years (Stoyan)
Rating: *** (Stoyan)

 

Map

M 37, M 36, and M 38 in constellation Auriga (large overview map) (Image Courtesy of SkySafari Astronomy, www.simulationcurriculum.com)

 

Pseudo Photo (Starry Night 7)

Pseudo photo of M 37, M 36, and M 38 created with Starry Night 7 (large version, larger version) (Image Courtesy of Starry Night Education, www.simulationcurriculum.com)

 

My Own Photos

Atik Infinity & Explorer 150PDS (February 12, 2018)

         

M 36 (Auriga), unprocessed

 

Ditto, post-processed and sharpened

 

Ditto, post-processed more aggressively and sharpened

         

M 37 (Auriga), unprocessed

 

Ditto, post-processed and sharpened

 

Ditto, post-processed more aggressively and sharpened

         

M 38 (Auriga), unprocessed

 

Ditto, post-processed and sharpened

 

Ditto, post-processed more aggressively and sharpened

Photos taken with Sky-Watcher Explorer 150PDS (February 12, 2018), 600 x 600 section with 1:1 pixels in the large version

Atik Infinity & Explorer 150PDS (April 8, 2018)

         

M 36 (Auriga), unprocessed

 

Ditto, post-processed

 

Ditto, post-processed and sharpened

         

M 36 (Auriga), unprocessed

 

Ditto, post-processed

 

Ditto, post-processed and sharpened

Photos taken with Sky-Watcher Explorer 150PDS (April 8, 2018), originals reduced to 600 x 450 pixels. The photos of the missed targets are not presented.

eVscope

M 36

         

M 36 - Feb 15, 2020

 

M 36 - Feb 16, 2020

 

M 36 - Mar 13, 2020

   

M 36 - Mar 13, 2020

 

M 36 - Mar 18, 2020

 

M 36 - Mar 18, 2020, processed

M 37

         

M 37 - Feb 15, 2020

 

M 37 - Feb 16, 2020

 

M 37 - Mar 13, 2020

   

M 37 - Mar 18, 2020

 

M 37 - Mar 18, 2020, processed

  M 37 - May 10, 2020, processed (Live View)

M 38

         

M 38 - Feb 15, 2020, manual exposure

 

M 38 - Feb 15, 2020

 

M 38 - Feb 16, 2020

   
M 38 - Mar 13, 2020   M 38 - Mar 18, 2020   M 38 - Mar 18, 2020, processed

 

My Own Observations

Observations February 2017

The visibility and rating of the three star clusters thus fluctuated quite a bit. But at least one can state that all the three star clusters were more or less well recognizable even when using a 4" telescope.

*) Whether this was due to a wrong alignment of the telescope, I do not know. In any case, it was very difficult for me to point the LED finder at these three targets because they were so high up in the sky. I therefore tried it on "good luck". Here a 90° angle finder would surely have served me well!

Observations End of March 2017

Observations February to April 2018

Observations February 2019 ff

Observations January to May 2020

 

References

On this Site