Messier 3, Globular Cluster

Messier 3. Image Credit: Deep Skies Objects
Messier 3: At a distance of about 33,900 light years, Messier 3 is a somewhat dense globular cluster designated as a class 6. Globular clusters that are dense have a lower number while those with a higher number are less dense. With about half a million stars, Messier 3 has a magnitude of 6.2, just below naked eye levels. This makes it a fairly easy target to observe as it takes very little equipment. To find this cluster, look to the constellation Canes Venatici. Look for the star Cor Caroli, located under the handle of the Big Dipper. Then trace a line to bright orange Arcturus and the cluster will be about midway between the 2 stars. With binoculars, Messier 3 will appear as a hazy patch but small telescopes will be able to distinguish some outer stars, and big telescopes will distinguish nearly all the stars. Messier 3 will hold up well to moonlight, but as always, the darker the skies the better.

No comments:

Post a Comment