The Globular Cluster M19

The Globular Cluster M19
From the National Optical Astronomical Observatories
M19 (NGC 6273), a globular cluster of our Milky Way Galaxy in the constellation of Ophiuchus, located about nine degrees above (north) of the galactic plane and slightly west of the line of sight from Earth to the galactic center, is seen in this Kitt Peak 0.9-m telescope image. It is on the opposite side of the galactic center from the Earth, being over 28,000 light years away. M19 is a relatively close globular cluster to the center of the Milky Way, at a little more than 5,000 light years and is moving away from us at 146 kilometers/second.
M19 is a rich, fairly dense globular cluster, and one of the most elongated. Its major (longest) axis is around 65 light years. Its brightest stars have an average magnitude of 14.8 and although its total apparent magnitude to us is 6.8 which is bright enough for easy viewing through binoculars and small telescopes from a dark sky site. Due to its location near the plane and central region of the Milky Way, it has a background of faint dust and appears embedded in a rich field of stars. As with other globular clusters, which are the oldest, densest, and most populous star clusters in the Milky Way, M19 is made up of stars that are all the same age, about 13 billion years. It is an excellent laboratory to study stellar evolution.
Image Title: The Globular Cluster M19
Credit: Doug Williams, N. A. Sharp/AURA/NOAO/NSF
The text is based on accompanying on-line materials.

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 Last Modified On: Sunday, December 17, 2000