47 Tucanae

Globular Cluster NGC 104

Image exposure:
75 minutes
Image size:
1.99º x 1.3º
Image date:

One of the two most conspicuous globular clusters in our sky, 47 Tucanae is also catalogued as NGC 104 and Caldwell 106.

With millions of stars, it is an amazing object both through eyepiece and camera, even at a distance of 15,000 light years. It is located 18º from the South Celestial Pole and less than two degrees from the Small Magellanic Cloud.

47 Tucanae formed very early in the life of the Universe. It’s age has been estimated at 13.06 billion years.

The small fuzzy object to the left is another globular cluster, NGC 121, which orbits the Small Magellanic Cloud, at a distance from us of 199,000 light years. It is physically larger than 47 Tucanae but at an estimated age of “only” 10 billion years, it is much younger.

The other small fuzzy patch (lower right) is a distant star cluster, ESO 28-19,


◽ Skywatcher Esprit 120 Refractor telescope.
◽ With 0.77 reducer = 644 mm focal length @ f/5.4
◽ Skywatcher EQ6-R Pro mount.
◽ ZWO ASI 071 MC cooled imaging camera.
◽ Images © Roger Powell

Previous Posts

Cosmic Focus

ABOVE US ONLY SKY : amateur astronomy in australia



  1. Is that name a plural of Tucan? I suspect not since I don’t even see one Tucan.

    Did you know you would capture the other star clusters, or were they a pleasant surprise?


    1. Not a deliberate capture of other objects but I find it interesting to identify the small fuzzies that sometimes become visible in my fixed field of view, although the closest of the three is apparently the faintest, ESO 28-19.

      The constellation Tucana supposedly represents a toucan.

      Tucanae means “in the constellation of Tucana”. So the brightest stars in Tucana are called Alpha Tucanae, Beta Tucanae etc.

      Similarly for other constellations, e.g. the brightest stars in Sagittarius and Scorpius are Alpha Sagittarii, Alpha Scorpii etc.

      As with much astronomical stuff, it’s a convention which evolved in the past.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a comment or ask a question . . . .

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s