M 38

Photo by Pittendreigh


M36, M37 and M38 should be located during the same evening. They are all in the same neighborhood and are easily found in binoculars or low power telescopes.

Find the constellation Auriga. By scanning the area from the heart of the constellation's brightest stars toward the imaginary line from Theta to Beta Arigi, there will be three clusters. M36 is the one in the middle. M37 is the one closest to the imaginary line. M38 is the one deeper in the heart of constellation.


Since you will probably be finding three Messier objects during a 5 minute period, the temptation will be to simply check off these objects as having been observed and to go onto something else.

Hold on! These are beautiful clusters and should be savored.

M37 is the best of the three Messier clusters in the constellation Auriga. I like what the Reverend T. W. Webb said when he published his CELESTIAL OBJECTS FOR COMMON TELESCOPES in 1859: "the whole field being strewed, as it were, with sparkling gold dust." Webb also recommended that the observer "gaze at it well and long." Follow his advice.

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