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Dimensions2161 x 1864
Original file size2.07 MB
Image typeJPEG
M12 in Ophiuchus

M12 in Ophiuchus

Canon 350D Hap Griffin Baader Mod
10x180sec at iso 1600
30 Darks/Flats/Bias
Celestron 9.25 reduced 0.63


Sky and Telescope Online Gallery May 23, 2008

Messier 12 (also known as NGC 6218) is a globular cluster in the constellation Ophiuchus. It was discovered by Charles Messier on May 30, 1764.

Located roughly 3° from the cluster M10, M12 is about 16,000 light-years distant and has a spatial diameter of ~75 light-years. The brightest stars of M12 are of 12th magnitude. It is rather loosely packed for a globular and M12 was once thought to be a tightly concentrated open cluster. Thirteen variable stars have been recorded in this cluster.

A study published in 2006 concluded that this cluster lost about one million stars of low mass, and therefore has an unusually low number of such stars. The authors surmise that they were stripped from the cluster by the gravitational influence of the Milky Way.

May 12, 2008