Messier 14

34. Messier 14

Messier 14  RA: 17h 37.6'  Dec: -03 15'   Ophiuchus (Oph)

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Messier 14 (also known as M14 or NGC 6402) is a globular cluster of stars in the constellation Ophiuchus. It was discovered by Charles Messier in 1764.

At a distance of about 30,000 light-years, M14 contains several hundred thousand stars. At an apparent magnitude of +7.6 it can be easily observed with binoculars. Medium-sized telescopes will show some hint of the individual stars of which the brightest is of magnitude +14.

The total luminosity of M14 is in the order of 400,000 times that of the Sun corresponding to an absolute magnitude of -9.12. The shape of the cluster is decidedly elongated. M14 is about 100 light-years across.A total of 70 variable stars are known in M14, many of the W Virginis variety common in globular clusters. In 1938, a nova appeared, although this was not discovered until photographic plates from that time were studied in 1964. It is estimated that the nova reached a maximum brightness of magnitude +9.2, over five times brighter than the brightest 'normal' star in the cluster.

Slightly over 3° southwest of M14 lies the faint globular cluster NGC 6366.

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.
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