Messier 68. NGC 4590

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Messier 68, usually called M68, is one of the 29 globular clusters that are included in Messier’s Catalog. Its magnitude is +9.7 and stretches 11 arcmin in diameter. This cluster contains about 100,000 stars (average mass 2.2 solar masses) and approaching us at a speed of 110 km/s. Messier discovered it in 1780 and described it, quite wrongly, as “nebula with no stars”. William Herschel resolved it in individual stars. Close to M68, on the lower center left, lies a spiral galaxy, ESO 506-29, which is receding from us at 1% of the light speed.


Additional Information


Name(s): Messier 68, M68, NGC 4590

Type: Globular Cluster

RA:  12h 39m 27.3s

Dec: -26º 44’ 32.1”

Constellation: Hydra

Size (arcmin): 11 arcmin

Magnitude: +9.7

Distance: 34,000 ly


Date: 2019-06-23 to 2019-07-03

Location:, SSO near Coonabarabran, NSW Australia

Size (arcmin): 31×32 arcmin

Telescope: 20” f/6.8 Reflector

Camera: SBIG STX16803 (4096x4096pix)

Guiding: Astrodon MonsterMOAG off-axis guider

Total exposure: 4.5 hours (L: 90 min; RGB: 3 h)

Processing: CCDStack, Photoshop CC 2020

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