δ Ophiuchi

Delta Ophiuchi is known as ‘Yed Prior’ (The Preceding Star of the Hand). The neighbouring star, epsilon Oph, is ‘Yed Posterior’ (Following Star of the Hand).
     Both stars are third-magnitude orange giants and represent the left hand of Ophiuchus, which is holding the serpent.

These two stars are easily found two binocular fields southwest of lambda Oph, or just north of the Scorpion's stinger (if you've studied Scorpius): binoculars.


The next Messier on the list is M107. M107 is more difficult to see than most of Messier's objects. In fact it was Pierre Méchain who discovered the cluster in 1782; it wasn't a part of the Messier list until 1947. Burnham didn't even bother to include it in his Celestial Handbook.
     Nevertheless M107 is a fine globular cluster (given sufficient magnification) with an apparent magnitude of 8.1. It's two binocular fields southeast of delta Ophiuchi. You'll find the bright star zeta Ophiuchu nearly centred, and M107 three degrees southwest.

Much easier to resolve is the next Messier on the list, M9, three binocular fields southeast of zeta, in the same neighbourhood as eta.

Click on eta to continue.

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