M54 is a small globular star cluster. In a small telescope it appears only as a fuzzy spot, and will not appear granular unless viewed with a 10-inch or larger telescope. Although this globular cluster is bright at magnitude 7.7, it is difficult to resolve. Charles Messier discovered M54 in July 1778. It is about 50,000 light-years away, and is moving away from us at a speed of 76 miles per second.
This is a composite RGB CCD image taken with a Takahashi FCT-150 telescope. The CCD camera was an SBIG ST-8XE using a CFW-8 color filter wheel. This image was taken from my backyard in Scottsdale, Arizona.
M54 (NGC 6715)
RA: 18h 55m 28s Dec: -30d 28' 16"
April 25, 2006
Image by Sid Leach
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