Best of AOP - Star Clusters

M3

This ball of 500,000 stars is approximately 100 light years across. From a galactic perspective, this cluster is passing over our heads (galactic north) and is one of the first bright clusters to become available before the others closer to the galactic center. Some people believe that this cluster inspired Charles Messier to begin systematically recording the location of deep sky objects that through his telescope appeared as nebulous. Charles Messier was interested in finding comets and considered these non-comet fuzzies to be a bit of a distraction. Even with modest equipment today, the true nature of these objects are easily revealed.

Star map is navigable within this page.

Last Updated: 24-Jun-2014

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Sky Location:

About This Image

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Equipment

20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/8.1

Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount

SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

RGB color production was used to create this image.

Red = 18 minutes binned 2x2

Green = 18 minutes binned 2x2

Blue = 18 minutes binned 2x2

Minimum credit line: Michael Schock/Flynn Haase/NOAO/AURA/NSF