M 79 Globular Cluster in Lepus
Are You Part of the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy?
Asking a Deep Sky Object (in this case M79) directly is, as you probably
already suspected, not productive.  Still I do it more often than I care to
admit.  The objects I observe in the dead of night all seem to have more
questions than answers. I would especially love to get answers from the
Globular Cluster M79.  It is a shrouded mystery.  Over the past decade,
information has been gathering that a dwarf-irregular-galaxy, orbiting
near the plane of our galaxy, is currently being consumed by our much
larger Milky Way. This doomed galaxy is so close (in fact the closest
known galaxy to the Milky Way) that its billion stars are scattered over so
large of an area (about 12 degrees) that it only recently has been
suspected to be a galaxy.  The extended halo surrounding the Canis
Major Dwarf Galaxy is probably where M79 resides, along with the other
Globular Clusters NGC 1851, NGC 2298 and NGC 2808.  Globular
Clusters are very old and may pre-date the galaxies themselves.  In
addition, Globular Clusters are often found at the core of smaller
galaxies.  This could indicate that the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy
devoured at least three additional smaller galaxies before meeting its
match with the Milky Way.  I have lots of questions to ask the 11.7-billion-
year-old M79.

Additional Note:  M79 is at a negative declination of 24 ½ degrees from
where I live.  This puts the object low in the southern sky directly in the
sky-glow of Washington D.C. and the residual light from my local mall. If
M79 was not so bright, I would not have even attempted it from the deck
of my house. Details of M79 suffered from my observing location.  Both
Stephan O’Meara (2014) and Mallas (1978) in their books on the
Messier objects reported far more detail and structure in the Globular
Cluster with their 4” refractors than I could see with my 6” refractor.  
This truly is an object to be revisited under better sky conditions.