Messier 79, Globular Cluster

Messier 79. Image Credit: NASA/ESA, Hubble Space Telescope
Messier 79: Messier 79 is one of few Winter globular clusters for a reason. At 40,000 light years from Earth, Messier 79 is located within the disk of the Milky Way. This is odd because most globular clusters lie outside the plane of our galaxy. It is thought that Messier 79 is located where it is because it was once a dwarf galaxy that was devoured by the Milky Way. This cluster is also very dense which also leads to the dwarf galaxy hypotheses because a small galaxy may have a dense center. Deep inside the cluster many of the stars are colliding, creating newer, larger stars. To find Messier 79 first look to the constellation Orion. Then look due South of the famous hunter and find Lepus. Find the 2 brightest stars in Lepus and trace through them going South with your binoculars or finderscope until you find a fuzzy patch of sky. This is Messier 79. It will take some mid to large sized aperture to resolve this tight cluster but it is easily seen in small scopes. How does Messier 79 compare with summer globular clusters?

No comments:

Post a Comment