M 73 – NGC 6994


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M73 is one of the three “fake”, non-nebulous, Messier objects (together with M40, double star, and M24, star patch). It contains four stars distributed as a triangle with a fourth star off-center (Y-shape). The stars do not form a sparse star cluster as they are not physically related. They simply are in the same line of sight. This as determined about a decade ago with high resolution spectra.

Additional Information


Name(s): M73, NGC 6994

Type: Asterism

RA:  20h 58m 54s

Dec: -12ΒΊ 37’ 59.8”

Constellation: Aquarius

Size (arcmin): 9

Magnitude: 8.9

Distance: 2,000 ly


Date: 2013-08-11

Location: Corbera de Llobregat, Barcelona, Catalonia

Size (arcmin): 21×15

Telescope: Celestron 11” HD f/10

Camera: FLI ML6303 (3072x2048pix)

Guiding: Orion SSAG/Nikkor 500mm f/8

Total exposure: 40 min (L: 10min; RGB: 30min)

Processing: PixInsight

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