M 30 (NGC 7099) -- Globular Cluster in Capricornus
The last in the Messier Marathon
Around March during the New Moon is the best time to attempt to see all the Messier
Objects in one night. It is not an easy task. I have tried it several times and had my
best successes in the Southwestern United States where I have seen 107 out of the
109 objects on two separate occasions. The two I have failed to get are M74 (first
Messier of the evening just after sunset) and M30 (last Messier in the morning just
before sunrise). The Phantom (M74) is a tough Messier Object from suburban
Maryland skies in small telescopes even at its best placement. The Globular Cluster M30 is
different. It is an easy object to locate from suburban Maryland if you can get a view
low enough in the southern sky.
M30 can be seen in binoculars. Through a small telescope, it provides details in its
elongated-central core and in being able to semi-resolve a few of the brighter bands of stars
that spiral out away from its center (mostly to the north).
Messier Marathons are fun, and I enjoy them. However, a quick view of one of
Messier’s magnificent celestial objects before jumping to the next is not my preferred
way of observing them. Only by spending time with each object and observing them at
different magnifications, can one truly begin to appreciate their magnificence.