6995 6993
Ø 84''


Charles Messier discovered M73 = NGC 6994 on 4/5 Oct 1780 and recorded a "Cluster of three or four small stars, which resembles a nebula at first sight, containing a little nebulosity." On 28 Sep 1783 during his Messier survey, WH noted "consists of a few stars in a triangular form. No nebulosity among them." (10-foot, 150x).

The Hipparcos data places the four stars at different distances, so this is an optical quadruple -- a true asterism.

200/250mm - 8" four stars mag 10.5, 10.5, 11.0 and 12.0 in a small group, easily resolved at 100x.

400/500mm - 17.5" (9/7/91): four stars in a "Y" asterism. On the west side are the two fainter stars mag 11.5 and 12 oriented WNW-ESE which form the stem of the "Y". A mag 10 star is on the SE branch and a mag 10.5 star is on the NE branch. This is an unimpressive asterism.

Notes by Steve Gottlieb