Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Midnight came and I trained my telescope to the southwest, only to realize that Omega Centauri was so low on the horizon it was obscured by trees. Too, the waxing Moon cast bright light on the horizon further blotting out the brightest deep sky object in the heavens next to the Andromeda Galaxy (M31).
Located in the constellation Centaurus, Omega Centauri is the biggest of all globular clusters in our Milky Way galaxy. With its almost 5 million solar masses, it is about 10 times as massive as other big globulars, and has about the same mass as some smallest whole galaxies. It is also the most luminous Milky Way globular, and the brightest globular cluster in the sky. In the Local Group of galaxies, it is outshined only by the brightest globular cluster 'G1' in the Andromeda Galaxy M31.
Here are a couple of professional photos of Omega Centauri taken from southern hemisphere sites in Chile and Argentina.