Friday, 1 July 2016

N6397: plan ahead!

This globular has impressive stats: second nearest, fourth in Skiff’s list of brightest globulars and has the brightest members. Yet it is unimpressive when first viewed. This may be due to the small bright central cluster of stars, and the fact that the vast halo of 12/13mag stars is hard to see in small scopes. Full resolution seems to need a 12” scope or larger: the halo of faint stars is nearly 30min  arc dia.  It’s huge- almost the Moon’s apparent size: third largest after southern ‘giants’ Omega Cen and 47 Tuc. The sketch overflowed the page as more of the halo came into view! Plan Ahead!

A recent view in Bob S.'s 12" Dob showed what a spectacular thing N6397 is. Extra aperture makes a big difference.

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