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31 December 1969


globular cluster Messier 2, NGC 7089 in Aquarius. M2 has a diameter of about 175 light-years, and is 37, 500 light years distant. It contains about 150,000 stars, and is one of the oldest, richest and more compact globular clusters. It lies well beyond the Galactic Center. Visually it is of apparent magnitude 6.5 and about 6 to 8 minutes of arc in diameter, with a bright, compressed central region of about 5 minutes of arc. As with most globular clusters, M2's central part is pretty compressed: The dense central core of globular cluster M2 is only 0.34 arc minutes or about 20 arc seconds in diameter, corresponding to a diameter of 3.7 light years. This image is approximately 35 x 26 minutes of arc. So the imaged extent of the cluster is around 12 - 14 minutes of arc. There are numbers of faint galaxies of magnitude 17 - 18 visible towards the bottom-centre (south) of the image. It is a simple RGB image based on data captured on 2 and 8 October under somewhat difficult, hazy conditions aggravated by the relatively low altitude of M2. The image comprises 40 minutes, each of RGB data in 5-minute subs. Telescope: 254mm Newtonian at F/4 with a Tele Vue Paracorr; Camera: QSI 583 with a Lodestar as off-axis guider Mount: Skywatcher NEQ6 Location: Cambridge, UK Software: EQMOD, Nebulosity, Scopefocus, PHD2, Deep Sky Stacker; Pixinsight, Photoshop A higher resolution image is available at

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Dimensions: 2155 x 1629
File size: 2763.13 kbytes
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