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The globular cluster Messier 55 in the constellation Sagittarius

Short Object description:

M 55 is a beautiful globular star cluster in the constellation Sagittarius with an apparent diameter of 19 arc minutes in the sky. The discovery of M 55 goes back to Nicolas Louis de Lacaille on 16 June 1752. Charles Messier added the very southern (-31° declination) cluster into his catalogue in 1778. The distance to the cluster is 17,000 lightyears and the absolute diameter is almost 100 lightyears. M 55 belongs to the very "loose" globular star clusters (concentration class XI) and can be dissolved very well.

The seeing at imaging time was about 2.7'' (FWHM). A fascinating deep image of the cluster was taken with the VISTA telescope at the Paranal Observatory and can be found here.
Click here or the thumbnail image for a comparison with the size of the Moon.

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