Globular Cluster NGC 7089 in Aquarius

Image exposure:
35 minutes
Image size:
24 x 20 arcmin
Image date:
one arcmin is a sixtieth of a degree.

Messier hunts are mostly the domain of visual observers, keen to clock up as many of the 110 Messier objects as quickly as possible, sometimes even over the course of one night during a Messier Marathon.

Astro-photographers tend to avoid many of the Messiers and concentrate on other more beautiful objects but I like to come back to them from time to time to tick another one off the list. I keep a list of the ones I’ve imaged >here< and the outstanding ones >here<.

So here’s just one more, bringing my own personal Messier image total up to forty-eight – after several years of astro-imaging! I wouldn’t be much good in an overnight Messier Marathon!

Messier 2 (or M2) is a globular cluster 55,000 light years away, with a diameter of 175 light years and a very dense core. There are 150,000 stars in total. I read it in Wikipedia, so it must be so.

Goodness knows how close the stars are near the centre!

There are a number of intriguing star chains to be seen.

Location of Aquarius


My ZWO ASI 071 astronomical camera
◽ Meade LX-90 200mm Schmidt-Cassegrain 2000 mm @ f/10.
◽ Skywatcher EQ6-R Pro mount.
◽ ZWO ASI 071 MC cooled imaging camera.
◽ Images © Roger Powell

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  1. I never thought of that . . . not all of them, but, maybe, on a clear night, I might spend a few minutes outside just to see how many Mobjects I can observe with and without binoculars.

    Just imagine if you’re on a planet near the M2’s core . . . I know, unlikely there are planets, but if there were, and you’re on one, boy, the photos you could take . . . and no street lights (or neighbors), I’d wager.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My understanding is that if you live in the Northern Hemisphere and plan to do a Messier Hunt, then at certain times of the year you could observe all 110 objects in one all night session from dusk to dawn.

      We don’t know for certain there are no planets in globular clusters but it seems somewhat an inhospitable place for stable planetary orbits. If there were to be a planet with people like us, then I doubt amateur astronomy would be much of a hobby.


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