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April 1999 <Spring star clusters>

[Photo of M13] M13 A Globular Cluster in Hercules

This is a very bright globular cluster and can be seen clearly in binoculars. It is barely detectable by the naked eye. Telescopes at 50 power are required to see it as a globular and resolve faint outliers. This globular cluster is made up of old stars and situated in the outer regions of the Milky Way Galaxy.

60cm reflector
9-minute exposure
[Photo of Omega star cluster] Omega Star Cluster
A Globular Cluster in Centaurus

This is a globular cluster located at declination -48 degrees in the southern sky. This is not an easy target from Japan, not suitable for large telescopes. If you try this from an ideal site where you can see the horizon, it is easy to find in binoculars. It was an unforgettable experience to see Halleys Comet passing by this globular on the island of Bali in April 1986.

This photo was taken by Geisei's 60cm reflector with a 14-minute exposure.
[Photo of M51] M51 A Galaxy in Canes Venatici

This galaxy is an easy object in the northern sky. Its magnitude is 8.5-9.0 and relatively easy in a 10cm telescope at 20 power. However, it requires an aperture of more than 50cm to see the peculiar image of M51 and its smaller companion galaxy. Or you can enjoy its beauty in photographs. M51 is a very distant galaxy. You can star-hop to M51 starting with in the Big Dipper.

Copyright (C) 1999 Tsutomu Seki.