Globular Cluster in Lyra

The most famous Messier object in Lyra is the Ring Nebula, M57. After viewing the Ring Nebula with my 18-inch Dobsonian, I often take a short star hop to the southwest and find the Messier 56, a small but attractive globular cluster. It is bright enough to find pretty easily. Its center is bright, and its periphery is nicely resolved into inidividual stars. On summer evenings, M56 is high overhead where there is less haze and humidity, and it makes an impressive sight against the star-filled background.

Magnitude 8.2
Apparent Size 7'
Distance (light yrs) 2
Right Ascension 19:16.6
Declination +30 11
Field of View 31' x 21'

Image details: Exposure times of 20 minutes luminance and 12 minutes each of red, green and blue, taken with an SBIG ST-8300M imager and a 12" Meade telescope at f/6.8. 

July 2012