M23 Open Star Cluster

M23 is a magnitude 5.5 galactic star cluster that was first observed by Charles Messier in June 1764. This cluster was described in 1929 by astronomer C.E. Barns as "a blazing wilderness of starry jewels." The star cluster has a number of stars that appear to be arranged in arcs or curving chains. M23 is located about 2000 light-years away. M23 is located in an area of the sky that has an abundance of beautiful deep sky objects. In fact, the constellation Sagittarius boasts no less than 15 Messier objects.

This is an RGB color composite CCD image taken with a Takahashi FCT-150 using an ST-8XE.

M23 (NGC 6494)
Constellation: Sagittarius
RA: 17h 57m 21s Dec: -19d 01' 13"
February 22, 2006
Image by Sid Leach
Scottsdale, Arizona

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