Mars Passes Two Globular Clusters

25 October - The Teapot and the Milky Way

The Teapot and the Milky Way

   For the last couple of days my posts have described the Milky Way as viewed from my mid-northern latitude location, and the path Mars was taking across the Milky Way as it passed by the Lagoon Nebula. This is an area of the Milky Way above the teapot-shaped asterism for Sagittarius where numerous deep sky objects are visible to the unaided eye, or seen using binoculars. Deep sky objects are outside the solar system but are either within the Milky Way Galaxy and would include nebula, and star clusters (globular and open), or deep sky objects are the galaxies outside of ours.

mars2-ani   Over the next week Mars continues its eastward ‘march’ and will pass by two globular star clusters, coming within about 0.20o from M-28 on 2-3 November, and about 1o from M-22 on the 6th. This animated graphic is set to 1-day intervals and starts on October 27th and ends on November 9th. Globular cluster M-28 has an apparent magnitude of 8.5 and is estimated to be 19000 light years distant, in Sagittarius. Also in Sagittarius is globular cluster M-22 at a distance of 10000 light years with an apparent magnitude 6.5.

galaxy-parts   A globular star cluster is a compact group of stars numbering in the tens of thousands to a few million. Round in appearance globular star clusters are mostly located in the galaxy’s halo, a spherical area around the galaxy center where the older stars in the galaxy are located. Globular clusters contain the oldest stars in the galaxy.
Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

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