Tuesday, March 31, 2009

M3 Globular Cluster

At long last, I was able to take my telescope and camera out for an evening when there was no wind, little haze and a new Moon.

The picture I am posting tonight is of Messier Object M3, one of the brightest globular clusters in the sky.

Under dark skies M3 is naked eye visible, and under city lights the cluster can be seen with binoculars, if you know where to look.

M3 rises in the eastern sky after sunset and is visible shortly thereafter. This very bright globular cluster is located in the constellation Canes Venatici. It is magnitude 6.3 (bright for a cluster) and is a mere 11 light years across.

M3 has been said to contain over 240,000 stars, 25,000 of which are variable stars (the most of any deep space object).

The object is located 33,900 light years from our Solar System, a distance farther than the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, but it outshines the glactic center, at least from our perspective.

Stay tuned for more images from my most recent night under the stars.

Clear Skies at Last!



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now. Keep it up!
And according to this article, I totally agree with your opinion, but only this time! :)