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M71 from bortle 8?

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#1 JustAnotherScott

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 12:27 AM

How hard is M71 to find from the city? I couldn’t get it at all but maybe it’s lack of experience.

Tried to get to it from my house which has heavy light pollution. I could see most of the magnitude 3 stars and better but not much else. Tried to look 1/2 between Altair and albireo. Just kept getting lost visually since I had no other land marks.

Tried with alt/az just could never see it that way either.

Is this an operator error issue or are my sky’s to bright?

Added: I didn’t stumble on Brocchi's Cluster while doing all this. Man wow! Beautiful!

#2 clusterbuster

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 01:49 AM

If you can find Sagitta, the arrow, you should be able to find M71 quite easily. A star chart of the arrow will get you right there. i am an old STAR HOPPER, M71 is one that I routinely visit !

 Mark

 

A pair of binoculars will help to get you in the area also...


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#3 Redbetter

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 02:08 AM

I am assuming this is with the 10".  It shouldn't be difficult to see with this even in bright sky because you can resolve stars.  It could appear very washed out and hard to detect in the finder, but once you are on it the 10" will easily resolve stars in it. 

 

Even in bright sky you should see 3.5 mag gamma Sagittae and probably delta Sagittae as well at ~3.8 mag.  If you put your finder on gamma you should be able to identify the pattern of Sagitta.  You want the field to be roughly midway between gamma and delta.  Either in the finder or at low power in the main scope there is an angle pattern of 6 through 9th mag stars.  These are to the west of M71, with the fainter 8th and 9th mag stars of this pattern pointing almost to the center of M71 nearby.

 

M71 has an ~11 mag star on the south edge, and a 10 mag star just NE of the globular.   With a somewhat dimmer 11 mag due N of the globular.  I did a quick check from the suburbs tonight with a 72ED in Bortle 6 skies and that was what I noted about it at 39 and 62x.  


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#4 Jethro7

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 02:21 AM

How hard is M71 to find from the city? I couldn’t get it at all but maybe it’s lack of experience.

Tried to get to it from my house which has heavy light pollution. I could see most of the magnitude 3 stars and better but not much else. Tried to look 1/2 between Altair and albireo. Just kept getting lost visually since I had no other land marks.

Tried with alt/az just could never see it that way either.

Is this an operator error issue or are my sky’s to bright?

Added: I didn’t stumble on Brocchi's Cluster while doing all this. Man wow! Beautiful!

I concur with Cluster Buster,

I use a pair of binoculars to help me find new trargets when I star hop.

And when you are at it, you are also near the Wild Duck Cluster M11,

 

HAPPY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro


Edited by Jethro7, 10 August 2020 - 02:26 AM.

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#5 Waddensky

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 02:29 AM

Any specific reasons to look for M71? It's not very obvious nor very dense (but beautiful in its own right). The Sagitta asterism is easy to find by the naked eye, near Delta are three stars visible in the finder (among others 9 Sge) that will guide the way to the cluster. Good luck!


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#6 chrysalis

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 04:21 AM

I guess I'll offer an opposing viewpoint and state that it may be quite difficult (not impossible) to see M71 from Bortle 8 skies. Your best chance would be when it is highest in the sky (least atmospheric extinction) and/or farthest from local or prevalent light pollution. I sometimes have issues with easy distinction of M71 in my 12" even though I am in Bortle 5 skies. It will certainly be a feather in your observing cap should you succeed under your LP conditions ;) !

 

All that said, I love observing M71 and its understatedly ghostly but distinctly multi-stellar appearance in the black(ish) field with the myriad of field stars in my 12" at 107X. Same goes for M56 for similar reasons. 


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#7 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 05:30 AM

I guess I'll offer an opposing viewpoint and state that it may be quite difficult (not impossible) to see M71 from Bortle 8 skies. Your best chance would be when it is highest in the sky (least atmospheric extinction) and/or farthest from local or prevalent light pollution. I sometimes have issues with easy distinction of M71 in my 12" even though I am in Bortle 5 skies. It will certainly be a feather in your observing cap should you succeed under your LP conditions wink.gif !

 

All that said, I love observing M71 and its understatedly ghostly but distinctly multi-stellar appearance in the black(ish) field with the myriad of field stars in my 12" at 107X. Same goes for M56 for similar reasons. 

 

I agree.  M71 is not an easy target under bright skies.  It's a loose globular cluster with no bright stars.  Using Sky Safari 6 Pro with the GAIA database extension, it shows the brightest star as magnitude 12.4 with 13 stars brighter than magnitude 14. 

 

At low powers under light polluted skies, it's a faint fuzzy spot, I see it in relatively small scopes because I know exactly where it is.  "Halfway between Altair and Alberio" is not very precise.  

 

I start at Altair in my 50mm finder.  Move towards gamma Aql and past it.  I shift a little and pickup alpha and beta Sagittae. If I run into the Coathander, I have gone too far. Then I move to Delta and Zeta Sagittae.  From there, I identify a row of 3 stars including 9 Sagittae.  A fourth nearby star points to M71 about 12' (0.2 degrees) away. 

 

 6178679-Finding M71.jpg

 

Jon


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#8 Tony Flanders

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 05:55 AM

My urban and suburban observations of M71 and M27 are here. I rate my urban site somewhere between Bortle 8 and Bortle 9 and -- rare coincidence! -- the website lightpollutionmap.info, which I generally don't much like, agrees with me.

 

So yes, I could see M71 with direct vision using my 70-mm refractor under Bortle 8-9 skies, and resolve it partially into individual stars through my 7-inch Dob. It's actually one of my favorite globular clusters, perhaps the very easiest of the entire lot to resolve with small telescopes and under bright skies.


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#9 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 07:34 AM

My urban and suburban observations of M71 and M27 are here. I rate my urban site somewhere between Bortle 8 and Bortle 9 and -- rare coincidence! -- the website lightpollutionmap.info, which I generally don't much like, agrees with me.

 

So yes, I could see M71 with direct vision using my 70-mm refractor under Bortle 8-9 skies, and resolve it partially into individual stars through my 7-inch Dob. It's actually one of my favorite globular clusters, perhaps the very easiest of the entire lot to resolve with small telescopes and under bright skies.

It's easy to resolve because there are so few stars visible.  It has only been recently that it (1970's) that it has been considered a globular cluster. Prior to that, it was thought to be a dense open cluster.  

 

I find M4 much easier to resolve under bright skies, dark skies too.  According to the Sky Safari Pro database, the brightest stars are magnitude 10.8 with about 40 stars of magnitude 12.5, the brightest star(s) in M71.

 

Jon



#10 JustAnotherScott

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 07:41 AM

>> "Halfway between Altair and Alberio" is not very precise.

 

 

I agree.  M71 is not an easy target under bright skies.  It's a loose globular cluster with no bright stars.  Using Sky Safari 6 Pro with the GAIA database extension, it shows the brightest star as magnitude 12.4 with 13 stars brighter than magnitude 14. 

 

At low powers under light polluted skies, it's a faint fuzzy spot, I see it in relatively small scopes because I know exactly where it is.  "Halfway between Altair and Alberio" is not very precise.  

 

I start at Altair in my 50mm finder.  Move towards gamma Aql and past it.  I shift a little and pickup alpha and beta Sagittae. If I run into the Coathander, I have gone too far. Then I move to Delta and Zeta Sagittae.  From there, I identify a row of 3 stars including 9 Sagittae.  A fourth nearby star points to M71 about 12' (0.2 degrees) away. 

 

 

 

Jon

Unfortunately I couldn't see anything in between Albireo and Altair. So I was trying to get close then find a pattern I could recognize in my widest FOV eyepiece ( 32mm which gives me ~ 1.5 degrees ). I just couldn't though. I'll try again with my z130 and its RACI.



#11 JustAnotherScott

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 07:44 AM

Any specific reasons to look for M71? It's not very obvious nor very dense (but beautiful in its own right). The Sagitta asterism is easy to find by the naked eye, near Delta are three stars visible in the finder (among others 9 Sge) that will guide the way to the cluster. Good luck!

Its in the neighborhood. My goal right now is to explore and learn everything I can in the triangle of Altair, Deneb Vega.


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#12 JustAnotherScott

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 07:44 AM

It's easy to resolve because there are so few stars visible.  It has only been recently that it (1970's) that it has been considered a globular cluster. Prior to that, it was thought to be a dense open cluster.  

 

I find M4 much easier to resolve under bright skies, dark skies too.  According to the Sky Safari Pro database, the brightest stars are magnitude 10.8 with about 40 stars of magnitude 12.5, the brightest star(s) in M71.

 

Jon

The weird classification also made me wonder if I saw it but didn't recognize it. I was looking for a fuzzy ball.



#13 JustAnotherScott

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 07:46 AM

I am assuming this is with the 10".  It shouldn't be difficult to see with this even in bright sky because you can resolve stars.  It could appear very washed out and hard to detect in the finder, but once you are on it the 10" will easily resolve stars in it. 

 

Even in bright sky you should see 3.5 mag gamma Sagittae and probably delta Sagittae as well at ~3.8 mag.  If you put your finder on gamma you should be able to identify the pattern of Sagitta.  You want the field to be roughly midway between gamma and delta.  Either in the finder or at low power in the main scope there is an angle pattern of 6 through 9th mag stars.  These are to the west of M71, with the fainter 8th and 9th mag stars of this pattern pointing almost to the center of M71 nearby.

 

M71 has an ~11 mag star on the south edge, and a 10 mag star just NE of the globular.   With a somewhat dimmer 11 mag due N of the globular.  I did a quick check from the suburbs tonight with a 72ED in Bortle 6 skies and that was what I noted about it at 39 and 62x.  

I couldn't see Sagittae with my naked eye and didn't have a RACI. I tried to find it with my eyepiece. but never recognized it. I should of looked with my binoculars for it.


Edited by JustAnotherScott, 10 August 2020 - 07:46 AM.


#14 rhetfield

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 08:02 AM

The weird classification also made me wonder if I saw it but didn't recognize it. I was looking for a fuzzy ball.

I would think it would look like a fuzzy ball at low to medium magnification.  Wild duck also looks like a fuzzy ball at low magnification.

 

I have some nights in my bortle 7 skies when even the easy globulars need averted vision to just barely see them.

 

If you are accurate with your alt/az coordinates and still not seeing it, it might just be one of those nights. 


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#15 Waddensky

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 11:43 AM

Its in the neighborhood. My goal right now is to explore and learn everything I can in the triangle of Altair, Deneb Vega.

Nice. A lot of great things to see in the summer triangle.


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#16 Redbetter

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 03:54 PM

I couldn't see Sagittae with my naked eye and didn't have a RACI. I tried to find it with my eyepiece. but never recognized it. I should of looked with my binoculars for it.

I could only guess as the original post didn't say anything about equipment used or how it was configured (and your sig didn't have specific configs, but did list an 8x50.)

 

The problem seems to be primarily one of not getting into the vicinity of the field.  At present, this is more of a star hopping issue, so we can't tell if the cluster will be visible or not until you find the field..  Even in Bortle 8 skies you should be able to see Gamma Sagittae, which would get you within one and a half degrees of the globular.  Can you see Alshain (Beta Aquila) next to Altair?  It is actually considerably dimmer than Gamma Sge, but it is near a brighter star and therefore easier to find.

 

If you can't see bright stars at your location, you are going to want to use the larger aperture, and you are going to need a wide field of view finder.  With the equipment you list the solution would seem to be to put the 8x50 on the 10" and add an RDF to it.  The RDF gets you close enough to hop with wide field of the 50mm.  RDF's are inexpensive and there are various ways to mount one on a tube.

 

Manufacturers are absolutely clueless about configuring visual finder systems for scopes.  RDF's work well for wide field instruments that don't really need traditional finders.  RACI's are great for providing wide fields, for searching, but they aren't good stand alone devices.  RACI's should be paired with RDF's.  Unfortunately, manufacturers don't set up the tubes in a way that supports this directly out of the box.

 

I doubt you will see the globular in binocs under the sky you describe.  Binocs should help you to find the asterisms I described so that you know where to point the finder of your scope.



#17 JustAnotherScott

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 04:21 PM

I could only guess as the original post didn't say anything about equipment used or how it was configured (and your sig didn't have specific configs, but did list an 8x50.)

 

The problem seems to be primarily one of not getting into the vicinity of the field.  At present, this is more of a star hopping issue, so we can't tell if the cluster will be visible or not until you find the field..  Even in Bortle 8 skies you should be able to see Gamma Sagittae, which would get you within one and a half degrees of the globular.  Can you see Alshain (Beta Aquila) next to Altair?  It is actually considerably dimmer than Gamma Sge, but it is near a brighter star and therefore easier to find.

 

If you can't see bright stars at your location, you are going to want to use the larger aperture, and you are going to need a wide field of view finder.  With the equipment you list the solution would seem to be to put the 8x50 on the 10" and add an RDF to it.  The RDF gets you close enough to hop with wide field of the 50mm.  RDF's are inexpensive and there are various ways to mount one on a tube.

 

Manufacturers are absolutely clueless about configuring visual finder systems for scopes.  RDF's work well for wide field instruments that don't really need traditional finders.  RACI's are great for providing wide fields, for searching, but they aren't good stand alone devices.  RACI's should be paired with RDF's.  Unfortunately, manufacturers don't set up the tubes in a way that supports this directly out of the box.

 

I doubt you will see the globular in binocs under the sky you describe.  Binocs should help you to find the asterisms I described so that you know where to point the finder of your scope.

I mean find Sagittae in bino's so I get a sense for whats in the area.

 

On my 10"all I have is a telrad. Currently can't put anything else on it becauses its super tippy. I haven't had a chance to work on balancing it yet. Its a sonotube and the frames got tight clearances so it complicates it. On my zhumell I have a RDF and the RACI. I think that would be easier.

 

No I couldn't see Alshain. In the summer triangle the dimmest examples I could see were Albireo, Sulafet, Sadr, etc Cygnus. SO basically down to 3.5 magnitude I guess.


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#18 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 04:25 PM

M71 is located a bit south of the midway point between Delta and Gamma Sagittae.

https://freestarchar...inder_Chart.pdf

 

https://freestarcharts.com/messier-71

 

Telrad charts:

 

http://quest4truth.t...telrad/m071.htm

 

http://cfas.org/telrad-charts/messier/


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#19 Redbetter

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 04:31 PM

I agree.  M71 is not an easy target under bright skies.  It's a loose globular cluster with no bright stars.  Using Sky Safari 6 Pro with the GAIA database extension, it shows the brightest star as magnitude 12.4 with 13 stars brighter than magnitude 14. 

 

The brightest star in it is roughly 11.5 mag--11.8 when adjusted for reddening of the cluster.    I have marginally resolved M71 with a 50mm ED in dark sky; marginal meaning I resolved a handful of member stars in its glow, but not quite half a dozen.  The dimmest corresponds to a star at 12.5 mag visual after adjusting for reddening.  M71 remains thin in stars brighter than 14 mag actual (visual as seen through the reddening), and there indeed about 13 of them up to 14.0 mag, and a small number in the 14.0 to 15.0 range forming the horizontal branch.

 

It is sparse for a globular, which is why the OP's 10" is preferred for resolving some of these stars to confirm the globular in town.  Fortunately it is bounded by other stars that make this more straightforward to find.

 

The lower surface brightness of this globular makes it a poorer urban target for small apertures, as some folks will be unable to resolve stars...it takes magnification, and folks often employ too little expecting to see a bright glow of globular.



#20 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 08:43 PM

The brightest star in it is roughly 11.5 mag--11.8 when adjusted for reddening of the cluster.    I have marginally resolved M71 with a 50mm ED in dark sky; marginal meaning I resolved a handful of member stars in its glow, but not quite half a dozen.  The dimmest corresponds to a star at 12.5 mag visual after adjusting for reddening.  M71 remains thin in stars brighter than 14 mag actual (visual as seen through the reddening), and there indeed about 13 of them up to 14.0 mag, and a small number in the 14.0 to 15.0 range forming the horizontal branch.

 

 

I am curious where the numbers come from. I'm just at using the catalogs of included with Sky Safari including the optional GAIA catalog. It showing 12?4-12.5 as the brightest.

 

Jon



#21 Redbetter

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 10:15 PM

I am curious where the numbers come from. I'm just at using the catalogs of included with Sky Safari including the optional GAIA catalog. It showing 12?4-12.5 as the brightest.

 

Jon

I am going off of some of the CMD studies.  I might have erred in adding 0.3 mag for extinction/reddening in one them. Those might just be the filter values as detected, I was treating them as corrected in some fashion and adding 0.3.

 

The study I was thinking of primarily was from 2015.  Link.  It sampled an annulus away from the core but not extending too far out.  This is similar to what I typically resolve in small apertures, where the central regions are difficult to resolve specific stars in, while the shoulder regions have a smattering.    It has a short table of stars along the "ridgeline" of the CMD.  That represents the narrowest center of the distribution, which will include many of the brighter stars, but only a small sampling of the dimmer ones.  It also would exclude the horizontal branch.

 

An older CMD with more inner stars listed and a wider criteria is in the following link.   



#22 BrooksObs

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 10:46 PM

Scott - a word, or two, of advice. CN has a very broad cross section of observers. Some of us are simply novices, others have been observing the sky for decades, while still others do most of their observing from sites with skies of Bortle class 3 or better. One must always keep this in mind when reading advice from others here. To the highly experienced old-timers picking up  Messier 71 is a very simple, quick, easy process, even from a site of Bortle class 7 or 8. But for the novice it is likely to prove a major challenge, especially in skies so poor that the brighter stars of Sagitta aren't even visible to the unaided eye.

 

I see that you only joined CN in May of this year, so I would assume that you are likely very much a beginner at hunting down DSOs. If that is so, then contrary to what many of the more experienced folk have posted, I suspect that you are likely going to find it difficult to even recognize M71 if you do manage to come across it. From a Bortle class 8 site, a novice  may well " see" only a very faint diffuse patch of light devoid of any resolved stars. I assume from your posting the site you use is indeed Bortle class 8, so you must be deep within a densely packed, well lit, urban region. Such is just about the worst place to attempt serious DSO as a novice, the level of sky background brightness will dramatically limit the effectiveness of your 10" scope. If at all possible, see if you can at least occasionally get to darker skies if you wish to peruse DSO, else you are setting yourself up for a great deal of frustration.

 

BrooksObs.


Edited by BrooksObs, 11 August 2020 - 10:18 AM.

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#23 JustAnotherScott

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 10:53 PM

Ok tried again tonight. Explored the triangle with my binoculars laying on my back and definitely found Sagitta. Set up a screen to block my neighbors porch light. Once I found it a few times in binoculars I could focus on that location with my naked eye. After much effort I could barely make out Sagitta Delta.

I then Aligned my 5” and my 10” telescopes. I couldn’t find it in either one. I spent a good amount of time on it too.

I’m going to the mountains this weekend to bortle 3/4 skies. I’ll give it another go there with my 5”.

Thanks for all the tips and help.

Edited by JustAnotherScott, 10 August 2020 - 10:55 PM.

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#24 JustAnotherScott

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 10:57 PM

Additionally I find it strange the difference between seeming equal magnitude stars When I’m using my naked eye. I can see Albireo even though it’s faint but all but one star in is invisible Saggita and that star is extremely difficult. The coat hanger is invisible.

Edited by JustAnotherScott, 10 August 2020 - 10:59 PM.


#25 Redbetter

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 12:08 AM

Do you have any known red/green color blindness or red deficiency?  Gamma is a red giant with a color index of nearly 1.6.  Albireo is about 0.4 mag brighter, and has a color index of 0.8.  [Note, these mags won't necessarily match some sources such as Stellarium.  Many times the combined magnitudes of stars in binaries and triples are not given, as with Albireo above and zeta Sge below.]

 

In Bortle 6 sky I can see the main arrow of Sagitta, including the 5+ mag end star (eta) and the 5 mag zeta.  I an go deeper on good nights in the backyard, but even last night I was just able to catch stars down to 5.3 in the Keystone of Hercules which was in the brighter side of the sky here.  

 

At any rate, that one star you are seeing in Sagitta should be the one you are after, gamma.  From there, in the scope you only need to find the fainter asterism I described earlier in order to figure out specifically where the globular is.  If you view this in some software like Stellarium it will give you an idea of how far/where to search once you see the asterism.  Get that position figured out well first, so that you are looking in the right place.  In bright skies you aren't going to just "bump into" the globular as one normally would.  With higher power in the spot you might see a faint glow and resolve a few its stars in addition to the 10/11 marker stars that help bracket its position.


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