Click on image for larger version.

M79 is kind of a pathetic globular cluster- I say this with emotion based on its appearance compared to other Messier Globular clusters. However the winter sky has little to offer in terms of these clusters- M79 is just about it. These clusters orbit the center of the galaxy and the winter sky (towards Orion) is in the opposite direction. There is a good reason that M79 is so dim- it is located approximately 41,000 light years away and is one of the few that exists outside the orbit of the Sun. Due to its southern location and distance it is very difficult to appreciate visually through a telescope. CCD images such as this begin to reveal the true nature and beauty of this sphere of stars.


20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/8.4
Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount
SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

L R G B color production was used to create this image.

Luminance = 45 (synthetic) minutes binned 1x1
Red = 15 minutes binned 1x1
Green = 15 minutes binned 1x1
Blue = 15 minutes binned 1x1

  • Digital Development (DDP) via Maxim/DL was also used in order to display the the very dim and very bright details of the image simultaneously.

  • Minimum credit line: Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF

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    Updated: 10/16/2003