Sketch ready:
Final drawing:

M 37

M 37

Drawing data

M 37 Aur OC
Date(s) of observation:
2013.10.31/11.01. Kerepes
2013.11.27/28. Kerepes
2013.12.01/02. Kerepes
2013.12.27/28. Ágasvár
2014.02.03/04. Kerepes
2014.09.25/26. Emberger Alm (Ausztria)
Place(s) of observation:
Kerepes, Ágasvár, Emberger Alm (Austria)
Telescope(s) used:
4" f/4 Newtonian (Dobson)
Enlargement(s) used:
40x (10mm Delos)
Field size:
Author / Observer:
Peter Kiss


M 37 drawing inverted into positive.
M 37 drawing inverted into positive.

M 37 is undoubtedly the most spectacular of the three Messier open clusters in Auriga. With members in the order of 1000 and an apparent visual magnitude of 5.6mg this is a brutal open cluster. No wonder that this is the 109th Messier object that I drew (M 46 is the last Messier object that I have not yet drawn). I have a slightly negative experience connected to M 37: I stared to draw it on the night of the 15th of January, 2001. But after 45 stars the clouds came in and I never touched that drawing again. And I didn't have much will left to cope with M 37 for years.

I was cheating a bit with this drawing: right before starting the sketch by the telescope I drew the positions of the 50-60 brightest stars into the sketch from Guide. This means a tiny dot of the same size for all the predrawn stars. I was thinking a lot about the composition. But there is sort of nothing nearby except for the open cluster King 8. But I had already drawn it in 2000. There is not even a really bright star in the field or around it. This probably adds to the impression that M 37 is so much dominating this part of the sky.

There is one star that stands out: the red giant HD 39183 right at the center at 9.2mg. At least a hundred stars can be drawn by position with the little 4" telescope using 40 - 67x enlargements. Unfortunately there are areas inside the cluster where I was unable to draw the stars precisely one-by-one although the cluster was fully resolved. These areas are densely populated with faint stars. Furthermore the size of the dots on the paper corresponding to the stars represents a limitation. The resolution is better in the eyepiece than in the 10 cm circle on paper.

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