Messier 15, Pegasus Cluster

Image result for messier 15
Messier 15. Image Credit: Hubble Space Telescope, NASA/ESA
Messier 15: Messier 15 is the densest known globular cluster in the Milky Way Galaxy and is full of surprises! First off, there is a lot of speculation as to why this cluster is so dense. Not even the Hubble Space Telescope was able to dig to the center of this cluster, and many scientists believe there may be a black hole at its center. The black hole theory has not been confirmed, but another theory proposes that the cluster is collapsing in upon itself. Another odd aspect of Messier 15 is that it was the first globular cluster with a planetary nebula discovered in it. This is not all that surprising though as planetary nebulae flag the demise of average stars, and Messier 15 has hundreds of thousands of stars! Messier 15 also has a collection of variable stars and pulsars. To find Messier 15 first find the Great Square of Pegasus. Then find the Southwest star of the square and make your way down the leg of Pegasus linked to that star. Trace a line between the last 2 stars of the leg and continue on until you find a hazy patch in your finder scope or binoculars. Messier 15 will be very hard to resolve but with moderate sized aperture, the outside fringes can be resolved! With some more aperture the planetary nebula in the cluster will be seen. When looking at this cluster remember how unique and strange it is!

No comments:

Post a Comment