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mark81

Faint fuzzies in Auriga 10x50s

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When youve got your bins and you check your star atlas and come across Auriga it looks like it will be amazing.  Three nice Messier clusters and a few others as a bonus.... I find locating faint fuzzies on a dark night really quite satisfying and those three Messier clusters didint show up much more than that.  M38 was described as the dimmest of the three but I could make out the brighter tightly packed stars there.  M36 really was faint, but quite easy to locate under that nice string of stars beside M38.  I used that string to find 1893 which I found to be the best one in that region, being able to resolve a handful of stars.  Moving just out of the boundaries of AURIGA is M37.. again, very faint- almost missable .  I guess they are quite disappointing as far asMessier clusters with bins go but they are enjoyable to locate .  I then, with a steady hand checked out the a few of the many doubles in and around m36 and 1893.  All done in about 20 minutes... Great fun

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Those clusters are fabulous.  They are great in a scope.  Look for the red star in the middle next time.

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There`s another fainter cluster beside M38 called NGC 1907 and M36 as well has NGC 1931 nearby ( both NGCs listed in Stellarium ) ...

Just right of M38 I keep seeing a " big smiley face asterism " , the right eye of which is listed as a Struve double .

Beneath this cluster of three clusters is a nearby fourth M35 too ... 

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The trio of Messier cluster in Auriga are great. In smaller bins they do show up as faint fuzzies, but larger ones start resolving them more. In my former Helios Apollo 15x70 a hint of granularity could be seen, in my Helios LightQuest 16x80 the brighter stars pop up distinctly, making them even more attractive.  NGC 2281 is also a very nice open cluster to visit with binoculars.

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