M 22 – Sgr

M 22

M 22

For sure, you have understood that globular clusters are really loved by the Virtual Telescope team. At summer, plenty of them are visible from the northern hemisphere and some of the finest appear in the direction of the galactic bulge, in Scorpius and Sagittarius. Those constellations are never high enough above the horizon for those living in that part of the world. This is likely why some of those gems are quite neglected by northern observers.

Probably, the most remarkable object in that part of the heavens is Messier 22 (more data), a stunning globular cluster reaching a maximum altitude of less than 30 degrees from Italy. Despite this very punitive condition, it looks breathtaking. Messier 22 was discovered by Johann Abraham Ihle in 1665 (it is sometimes supposed that Hevelius note it even earlier).

Distance from M 22  is estimated in about 10.000 light years, so it is “relatively” closer than other similar objects. Its light is significantly obscured by galactic dust. This is truly an amazing object, rated by many observers as the finest globular cluster visible from northern latitudes (surpassing the Great Cluster of Hercules, Messier 13).

The image above comes from the average of 11, 120-seconds unfiltered exposures, remotely taking using the PlaneWave 17″ robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope. All images were unguided, with the object at only 24 deg above the horizon. This is one of the richest part of the sky: so many stars are visible all around M 22, an unforgettable vision.


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