I've been spending more time with astronomy lately after a long hiatus due to work and weather. Saturn is already well past the meridian by the time it gets dark now so I have been looking at it first. I got this view of the beautiful ringed planet not long ago:
Not far to the east of Saturn these day lies Scorpius with all of its deep sky wonders. Messier 80 is an often overlooked globular cluster--overlooked partly because of its small apparent size and because of its proximity to the famous Messier 4. Estimates vary--M80 is somewhere between 20,000 and 32,600 LY distant.
At low power, M80 really does look like a very small, tailless comet, so it is appropriate for it to be included on Messier's list. I was curious about how it would look at high magnification with lots of aperture so I trained my big Cat on it and starting from 98x, went through 170x and 256x all the way to 340x.
My observation was limited by intermittent below average transparency (nearby 3rd magnitude Sigma Scorpii kept winking in and out) and the Messier object's low altitude. M80 is listed as being about 10 arcminutes in diameter but I couldn't see that much of it. I could sometimes resolve some stars but mostly the cluster had a mottled, irregular appearance. Anyway, here is the result. Good luck with your own observations. It's good to be back in the forums.