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Object description
The star Antares, Messier 4 and NGC 6144

Object description:

Messier 4 (NGC 6121) is a globular cluster of concentration class IX (weak concentration). At a distance of only 700 light-years, M4 is the closest globular cluster to the solar system.

It has a physical diameter of 75 light-years and contains about 100 000 stars. A special study of over 600 white dwarf stars suggests an age of about 12.7 billion years. First observed by Swiss astronomer Jean-Philippe Loys de Chéseaux in 1746, Messier 4 was described by Charles Messier in 1764 "as a cluster of very small stars, which with smaller telescopes appears more like a nebula."

NGC 6144 is a small globular cluster of concentration class XI, located nearly 28000 light years from the solar system. NGC 6144 was first observed by William Herschel on May 22, 1784. John Dreyer, a Danish-Irish astronomer, described it "as of considerable size, strongly concentrated, brightening toward the center, and readily resolvable into single stars."

Johan Ludvig Emil Dreyer created the NGC catalog, a list of more than 7000 star clusters, nebulae and galaxies and later as a supplement the IC catalog.

Information and images of the star Antares can be found here.

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