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What is Messier 23?

Messier 23 is a bright, large open star cluster located in the constellation Sagittarius. M23 has an estimated age of at least 220 million years, which makes it one of the older known open clusters in our galaxy. Messier 23 occupies an area of 27 arc minutes of apparent sky, roughly the size of a full Moon and has a heavy concentration of stars.

What is the meaning of M23 in the Milky Way?

M23 is a pretty open cluster that's located in the rich starfields of the Sagittarius Milky Way. With an apparent magnitude of +6.9, it's beyond naked eye visibility but a nice binocular object and a glorious sight through small telescopes.

What is the M23 star cluster?

The M23 open star cluster, as it appears in the night sky (a patch of red), flanked by M8 (Lagoon), M16 (Eagle), M17 (Omega), M20 (Trifid) and other deep sky objects. Credit & Copyright: Fernando Cabrerizo/NASA While William Herschel did not publish his observations of Messier’s objects, he was still an avid observer.

What is the Messier catalog?

Consisting of 100 objects, the Messier Catalog has come to be viewed as a major milestone in the study of Deep Space Objects. One of these objects is Messier 23 (aka. NGC 6494), a large open star cluster that is located in the constellation Sagittarius.


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