Friday, July 1, 2011

Globular Cluster Photo Series (Part 5): M10

The object for today is the globular cluster Messier 10, found in Ophiucus. Similar in apparent diameter to M13 at 20 arcminutes, it is much smaller in actual size - 83 light years as opposed to 170. It's much closer, too, about the same distance as Omega Centauri at 14,300 light years away.

Messier 22 in Ophiuchus.
Other than that, there isn't too much to say about it. It's a bit too faint to see with the naked eye, and not overly impressive in a small scope like the scope the camera is mounted on (the fact that the exposure times were pretty short, only a minute forty seconds per exposure likely contributes).

Ok, one thing I did find interesting is the paucity of stars in this image compared to yesterday's image of M22. This is because M22 is in Sagittarius, and is thus located in the general direction of the galactic core and higher star density. Ophiuchus, although directly next to Sagittarius on the sky, is in a direction a little above (or below depending on how you want to look at it) the galactic core, and as such we're looking out of the plane of the galaxy and so see fewer stars when looking in that direction.

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