| 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 this non-comet fuzzies to be a
bit of a distraction. Even with modest equipment today- the true nature
of these objects are easily revealed.
|L R G B color production was used to create this image.||
Minimum credit line: (top image)Elliot Gellman and Duke Creighton/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF
(bottom image) Bill Uminski and Cyndi Kristopeit/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF
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