Globular Cluster in Aquarius

Messier 72  is a relatively dim cluster just about 3 degrees away from the Saturn Nebula (NGC 7009) in the western part of Aquarius.  At about magnitude 9.3, it is not difficult to see in even small telescopes, but resolving its 15th magnitude stars requires a fairly large aperture.  Through my 18-inch telescope at 175x, some of its stars can be resolved.  The cluster is about 56,000 light years away, a distance that is about half the diameter of our galaxy.

Magnitude 7.7
Apparent Size 11'
Distance (light yrs) 17,900
Right Ascension 18:24.5
Declination -24 52
Field of View 22.5' x 15'

Image details:  13 images, each 150 seconds at ISO 1600, taken with a Canon 400D camera through a Meade 12” telescope at f/10. 

October 2008