Messier 56 (Lyra)

Object image
Fig.1 - The ancient stranger: The globular cluster Messier 56 (NGC 6779) in Lyra, photographed with a 16-inch f/4.5 Dob on an equatorial platform.
Object name: Constellation: Coordinates: Apparent size: Visual brightness:
Messier 56 (NGC 6779) Lyra 19h17m / +30°11' 8.8' 8.3 mag

The globular cluster Messier 56 (NGC 6779) in the constellation Lyra. Messier 56 has an estimated age of 13.7 billion years and is following a retrograde orbit through the Milky Way. The abundance of elements other than hydrogen and helium, what astronomers call the metallicity, has a very low value and the properties of this cluster suggest that it may have been acquired during the merger of a dwarf galaxy with the Milky Way. Messier 56 is about 32,900 light-years from Earth, measures 84 light-years across and was discovered by Charles Messier in 1779 (source: Wikipedia).

Seventy-seven 1-minute exposures (77 minutes total exposure) at gain 100 and -10°C, taken on July 10 / 11, 2023, were added for this shot with the Astro Pixel Processor (APP) software and the final image processing was done in Photoshop. Darks, flats, bias and dark flats were used. Cirrostratus clouds during the exposures.

Equipment: Cooled ASI 2600MC Pro camera, TeleVue Paracorr Type II coma corrector, 16" f/4.5 "Ninja" dobsonian telescope riding on a dual-axis Tom Osypowski equatorial platform, Lacerta MGEN autoguider, Lacerta off axis system (field of view comparison: image of the moon with the same equipment).

Search chart
Fig.2 - Search chart for Messier 56. Map © 2023 "The Mag-7 Star Atlas Project", Map is slightly modified. The map can be downloaded here.