Charles Messier (Discovered July 29th, 1764):
'A cluster of 7 or 8 very small stars. Looks like a nebula in 3-foot telescope. Found from Gamma Cygni. Reported on chart of comet of 1779.'
'(No. 69) A star cluster under Gamma in the breast of Cygnus.'
Quote from Dreyer's New General Catalog(NGC) for NGC 6913:
'Cluster, sparse in stars, little compressed, stars large and small; = M29.'
Quote from Burnham's Celestial Handbook:
A small and visually rather undistinguished star cluster located in a rich and crowded area of the Cygnus Milky Way about 1.7° SSE from Gamma Cygni. .......it appears in small telescopes as a trapezoid shaped knot of a dozen or so 8th-9th magnitude stars; the group measures about 5' with a few outliers increasing the total size to possibly 7' or 8'. M29 lies in a heavily obscured region of the Galaxy where interstellar absorption produces an estimated 3 magnitudes of dimming. In studies of polarization in the cluster, W.A.Hiltner (1954) found that the density of dust within the cluster is nearly 1,000 times the mean value for the Galaxy; evidently M29 might be a rather striking cluster if it could be seen "in the clear". The brightest members are all B-type stars; the stellar population resembling M36 in Auriga, which, however, is much nearer to the Solar System. ........studies suggest a distance of about 7,200 light years for M29, agreeing very well with the early estimates of R.J.Trumpler in 1930. This gives M29 an actual diameter of about 15 light years and a total luminosity of about 50,000 suns.
Data from the Hipparcos satellite shows that two of the brightest stars are actually foreground objects less than 200 light years away.
Click below to
George Normandin, KAS
December 14th, 2004