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Our Featured Celestial Object of October 2018: Messier 2

2 Oct 2018, 23:33 UTC
Our Featured Celestial Object of October 2018: Messier 2
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Messier 2 (M2) is a stunning globular cluster with over 150,000 stars. This cluster is located in the constellation Aquarius and is around 37,000 light-years away from Earth. Not only is Messier 2 one of the first globular clusters to be entered into the Messier catalog but it is one of the largest clusters of its kind, with a diameter of approximately 150 light years. M2 is a stunning spherical group of stars, that got their shape from the similarities in the gravitational attractions, thus causing them to form in a spherical shape.
Like most objects in space, the discovery of M2 was unintentional. M2 was discovered in 1746 by French Astronomer Jean-Dominique Maraldi. Originally, Maraldi was observing a comet with Jacques Cassins when he came across this cluster of stars.
It was first believed that this cluster was non-stellar because when viewed with a smaller telescope, or the naked eye it can appear to be a Nebula without any stars. When looked at closer, M2 was observed with individual stars, categorizing it as a cluster, not a nebula.
This beautiful grouping of stars is Lowell Observatory’s featured celestial object for the month of October. This is because it ...

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