M71 is an 8th magnitude rich and compact star cluster in the tiny constellation Sagitta, and is the only Messier object found in that constellation. It is considered to be a globular star cluster, although it does not have a dense central compression typically found in most globulars and the stars are metal-rich. It is often overlooked and somewhat eclipsed by the fact that it is located so close to the Dumbbell Nebula. M71 is separated from M27 by only 4 degrees.
M71 was probably first observed by J.G. Koehler in 1775. This object was "discovered" by P. Mechain 5 years later in 1780. Messier located it later that same year and added it to his catalog.
This is an RGB color composite CCD image taken with an SBIG ST-8XE CCD using a Takahashi Epsilon 250 telescope. This image was taken from my backyard in Scottsdale, Arizona.
M71 (NGC 6838)
RA: 19h 53m 46s Dec: +18d 46' 44" (J2000)
July 9, 2005
Image by Sid Leach
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