About this image
M71 is a star cluster in the constellation Sagitta. Although more people probably classify it as a globular cluster, despite its rather spread-out appearance, there are still some who maintain it's just a centrally condensed open cluster. The distinction between a loose globular cluster and a condensed open cluster is thus seen to be rather a fine one. At about 12000 light-years from us, M71 is quite small, probably only 30 or so light-years across, although there are further outlying stars whose membership in M71 is uncertain. This composite was created from images taken in July 1998 at the KPNO 0.9-meter telescope, during the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program operated at the Kitt Peak National Observatory and supported by the National Science Foundation. Image size 9.1 arc minutes.
Minimum credit line: REU program/NOAO/AURA/NSF
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