The Butterfly Cluster

M6 is an open star cluster located near the tail of Scorpius about 3-1/2 degrees northwest of M7. M7 and M6 are two of the largest and brightest galactic star clusters. Although M6 is visible to the naked eye, P.L. de Cheseaux is credited with discovery of M6 in 1746, and he was the first to identify it as a star cluster. M6 is known as the Butterfly Cluster, because the arrangement of this group of stars suggests the outline of a butterfly with open wings. This object was added as the sixth object on the list compiled by Charles Messier.

This photograph was taken with a Mamiya 645AF camera piggyback on a telescope mount at a dark sky site in Southeastern Arizona.

M6 (NGC 6405)
Constellation: Scorpius
RA: 17h 40m 39s Dec: -32d 16' 17"
May 11, 2004
Photo by Sid Leach
Sunglow Ranch, Arizona

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