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Astronomical Observatory: Cool Images

Astr111 Photography Projects, Fall 2005

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M14 Cluster, Tim Dawe

M14

This is picture of the M14 globular star cluster that was discovered by Charles Messier in 1764. Globular star clusters are a tight group of stars (from tens of thousands to one million) bound together by the gravitational forces of each. It was first catalogued by Messier on June 1, 1764. He recorded it as a round nebula without any stars because he didn't have a very powerful telescope that could make out the faint stars. It was William Herschel who later discovered that M14 was not a nebula, but actually confirmed that it was a globular cluster some 19 years later in 1783. Instead of using color filters, just a clear filter was used to capture the raw detail of this object. M14 is found in the constellation of Orphiucus.

M14 is not as easily seen compared to other globular clusters. This image shows that there is a strong central concentration of stars. For this image, a gamma function was used to reduce the light saturation to show fine detail of the stars in the center of the object. It is also known as a more isolated cluster than, say, M10 or M12 which are also in the constellation Orphiuchus. M14 is also a much dimmer cluster than M10 and M12. M14 contains several one hundreds of thousands of stars. M14 is approximately 100 light years across and 30,000 light years away from us. This image shows that the M14 cluster has a slight elliptical shape The approximate linear size of this object is 19.5 light years.

References:
Students for the Exploration and Development of Space

Kopernik Astronomy

Right Ascension (J2000) 17:37:06
Declination (J2000) -03:15
Filters used Clear (C)
Exposure time per filter 1x120 seconds in C
Date observed

October 6, 2005 (C)

 

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