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L

Posts: 130093
Date:
GCL 25
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Eyes on the Sky: Messier 3 and DSO distribution

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L

Posts: 130093
Date:
NGC 5272
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NGC 5272 (also M3, Messier 3 and GCL 25) is a magnitude +6.2 globular star cluster located 33900 light-years away in the constellation Canes Venatici.
The globular cluster is one of the biggest and brightest and consists of about 500000 stars contained within a diameter of 223 light years, the core is, however, only 11 light-years or 1.1 arc minutes across.
A pair of binoculars or small telescope shows the cluster as a fuzzy spot.
The cluster was discovered by French astronomer Charles-Joseph Messier on the 3rd May 1764.

Right Ascension 13h 42m 11.2s, Declination +28 22' 34"

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L

Posts: 130093
Date:
Messier 3
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Title: Is mass loss along the red giant branch of globular clusters sharply peaked? The case of M3
Authors: Vittoria Caloi, Francesca D'Antona

There is a growing evidence that several globular clusters must contain multiple stellar generations, differing in helium content. This hypothesis has helped to interpret peculiar unexplained features in their horizontal branches. In this framework we model the peaked distribution of the RR Lyr periods in M3, that has defied explanation until now. At the same time, we try to reproduce the colour distribution of M3 horizontal branch stars. We find that only a very small dispersion in mass loss along the red giant branch reproduces with good accuracy the observational data. The enhanced and variable helium content among cluster stars is at the origin of the extension in colour of the horizontal branch, while the sharply peaked mass loss is necessary to reproduce the sharply peaked period distribution of RR Lyr variables. The dispersion in mass loss has to be <~ 0.003 Msun, to be compared with the usually assumed values of ~0.02 Msun. This requirement represents a substantial change in the interpretation of the physical mechanisms regulating the evolution of globular cluster stars.

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Messier 3 (also known as M3 or NGC 5272) is a globular cluster in the constellation Canes Venatici. It was discovered by Charles Messier in 1764, and resolved into stars by William Herschel around 1784. This cluster is one of the largest and brightest, and is made up of around 500,000 stars. It is located at a distance of about 33,900 light-years away from Earth. M3 has an apparent magnitude of 6.2, making it visible to the naked eye under dark conditions.
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