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NGC 6401
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NGC 6401 (also ESO 520-SC11 and GCL 73) is a magnitude +7.4 globular cluster located 24450 light-years away in the constellation Ophiuchus.

The cluster was discovered by German-British astronomer William Herschel using a 47.5 cm (18.7 inch) f/13 speculum reflector at Datchet, Berkshire, on the 21st May 1784.

Right Ascension 17m 38m 36.9s, Declination -23 54' 31.5"

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Enigmatic Cluster Targeted by Hubble

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has used its powerful optics to separate the globular cluster NGC 6401 into its constituent stars. What was once only visible as a ghostly mist in the eyepieces of astronomical instruments has been transformed into a stunning stellar landscape.
NGC 6401 can be found within the constellation of Ophiuchus (The Serpent Bearer). The globular cluster itself is relatively faint, so a telescope and some observational experience are required to see it. Globular clusters are very rich, and generally spherical, collections of stars, hence the name. They orbit the cores of galaxies, with the force of gravity also keeping the stars bound as a group. There are around 160 globular clusters associated with our Milky Way, of which NGC 6401 is one. These objects are very old, containing some of the most ancient stars known. However, there are many mysteries surrounding them, with the origin of globular clusters and their role within galaxy evolution not being completely understood.
The famous astronomer William Herschel discovered this cluster in 1784 with his 47 cm telescope, but mistakenly believed it to be a bright nebula. Later his son, John Herschel, was to make the same error - evidently the technology of the day was insufficient to allow the individual stars to be resolved visually.

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