M72 lies four degrees southeast of Epsilon Aquarii, in the same region of Aquarius as M71 and the Saturn Nebula. Although easily found with a small aperture (provided the operator knows that a nearby star makes it and M72 look like a double star at first glance), Pennington suggests an aperture of at least ten inches is needed to resolve any stars. O’Meara can resolve some stars at 130x with a four-inch aperture, but O’Meara is also known for his exceptional eyesight.
M72 was discovered in August 1780 by Pierre Méchain.
Tuesday night M72 will be its highest in the Baton Rouge sky from 11pm to 12:50am.
Today’s APOD: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap120819.html
The Messier Objects by Stephen James O’Meara, pp. 206-207.
Burnham’s Celestial Handbook, pp. 188-189.
Year-Round Messier Marathon Field Guide by Harvard Pennington, p. 176.
Globulars or Open, clusters of stars can be neat viewing.
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