The globular star cluster Messier 54 in Sagittarius, shown in an R-band CCD image obtained with the UA 16-inch telescope. The field of view shown is 15 arcminutes wide. M54 has drawn special attention because its distance and stellar content suggest that it is part of the Sagittarius dwarf irregular galaxy, a small companion which is in the process of being tidally disrupted and assimilated (Borg-like) by the Milky Way. Its stars are so concentrated to the center that even this logarithmic intensity scaling doesn't quite show the central detail at the same time as the faint outer stars.
Last changes: 7/2006 © 2006