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M3, one of the 110 objects cataloged in the Messier catalog, is a globular cluster in Canes Venatici. This is one of the more spectacular globular clusters in the northern hemisphere and is estimated to contain about 500,000 stars. The cluster is 35 to 40,000 light years distant and has a diameter of about 90 light years. This cluster is quite bright at magnitude 5.9 and is easily visible in smaller telescopes or binoculars.
Globular clusters are some of the oldest objects in our galaxy and consist mainly of very old white dwarf stars that are gravitationally bound together. They form more or less a sphere around the core of the galaxy rather than being located in the galactic disk as is the case with most other matter in the galaxy. Globular clusters are some of the most rewarding visual targets available most especially from dark skies.
Telescope: 10" LX200 SCT @ f/10
Camera: Canon 20D, ISO 800
Filters: IDAS LPS
Exposure Count: 13 @ 120 sec.
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Last Updated: 11/12/2014 - Copyright © 2004-2013 by Dan Lessmann. All rights reserved. Please click here for my usage policy.