Deep Sky

Constellation: Ophiuchus
This globular cluster was discovered by Messier in 1746.  Approximately 30,000 light-years from earth, this cluster contains several hundreds of thousands stars.  Apparent magnitude of +7.6 and can easily be seen  with binoculars.
There are over 70 variable stars in this cluster, not too shaby for Ophiuchus.  In 1938 a nova appeared, however, astronomers did not discovered it until 1964 when the plates were examined. (embarassing)  The nova reached a max brightness of magnitude +9.2 over five times brighter than the brightest regular star in the cluster and would have put on a good show.

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date: 9-15-12