Hercules contains two globular clusters – Messier 13, the Great Keystone Cluster and the lesser known Messier 92. Messier 13 is a spectacular sight in small telescopes but don’t forget it’s fainter neighbour. Barely visible with the naked eye under clear dark skies, it is more easily seen with binoculars or a small telescope and contains thousands of stars gravitationally bound into a spherical shape. If you get the chance to observe the cluster, keep in mind it’s nearly 27,000 light years away and at close to 14 billion years old, is almost as old as the universe itself.
(Click on an image to enlarge.)
Images courtesy of Mobile Observatory.
19:39 UT – Mercury is stationary prior to resuming prograde motion. (11% illuminated, magnitude 2.4, diameter 10.8”. Taurus, not visible.)
20:20 UT – The waning crescent Moon passes Uranus. (Uranus: magnitude 5.9, diameter 3.4”. Pisces, pre-dawn sky.)
The globular star cluster M9 culminates at midnight tonight. (Magnitude 8.4. Ophiuchus, all night.)
The globular star cluster M92 culminates at midnight tonight. (Magnitude 6.3. Hercules, all night.)
Events in bold involve objects and/or events that are visible with the naked eye.
All times are in Universal Time (UTC). To convert the time to your timezone, click here.
2015: An Astronomical Year
|2016: An Astronomical Year||2016: The Night Sky Sights||The Astronomical Almanac (2015-2019)||The Amateur Astronomer’s Notebook|
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