Globular cluster M2

The bright globular cluster Messier 2 (NGC 7089) in Aquarius, shown from a 15-second red-light exposure (through clouds) with a Tektronix 2048x2048 CCD at the prime focus of the 4-meter Mayall telescope of Kitt Peak National Observatory. North is at the top and east to the left, for direct comparison with a chart or eyepiece view. The image has been block-averaged to 512x512 for this presentation, which uses a logarithmic intensity transformation to preserve information across a wide dynamic range. The field is 14.3 arcminutes square.

This is one of the brighter globular clusters visible from the northern hemisphere, with a listed magnitude of 6.5 (not to be more specific, that's from the Sky Publishing Messier Card). It is also quite luminous, being located something like 11 kiloparsecs (36,000 light-years) from us. It is unusually elliptical in outline, just detectable on this image (Omega Centauri is still the most obvious case; one of these days I'll get a decent image to put in here).

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Last changes: 4/2001      © 2001