Messier 12

32. Messier 12


Messier 12  RA: 16h 47.2'  Dec: -01 57'   Ophiuchus (Oph)

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Messier 12 or M 12 (also designated NGC 6218) is a globular cluster in the constellation of Ophiuchus. It was discovered by the French astronomer Charles Messier on May 30, 1764, who described it as a "nebula without stars". In dark conditions this cluster can be faintly seen with a pair of binoculars. Resolving the stellar components requires a telescope with an aperture of 8 in (20 cm) or greater. In a 10 in (25 cm) scope, the granular core shows a diameter of 3′ (arcminutes) surrounded by a 10′ halo of stars.Roughly 3° northwest from the cluster M10 and 5.6° east southeast from star Lambda Ophiuchi, M12 is about 15,700 light-years (4,800 parsecs) from Earth and has a spatial diameter of about 75 light-years. The brightest stars of M12 are of 12th magnitude. With a Shapley-Sawyer rating of IX, it is rather loosely packed for a globular and was once thought to be a tightly concentrated open cluster. Thirteen variable stars have been recorded in this cluster. M12 is approaching us at a velocity of 16 km/s.A study published in 2006 concluded that this cluster has an unusually low number of low-mass stars. The authors surmise that they were stripped from the cluster by passage through the relatively matter-rich plane of the Milky Way.
 

Image Information

Location Burlington IN
Date Jul 10 2010
Optics AstroTech AT8IN
Filters Baader MPCC
Mount Celestron CGE
Camera Canon/Hutech 500DH
ISO 400
Subexposures 10
Exposure Length 60
Guider Stellarvue NHII/ST-4
 

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All images copyright © 2006-2021, Rick Saunders
Main text descriptions sourced from Wikipaedia.
Sky position information is based on IP geolocation and is therefore approximate.