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Messier 69
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Messier 69 (also M69, NGC 6637, ESO 457-SC14 and GCL 96) is a magnitude +8.31 globular star cluster, located 29,700 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius.
The cluster spans a radius of 42 light years, with half of the cluster mass lying within 7.2 light-years from its center.
Messier 69 is one of most metal-rich globular clusters known. The content of elements (heavier than helium), however, is less than in the Sun. This indicates that the cluster formed much earlier.
The cluster under a dark sky can be observed with a pair of 7x50 or 10x50 binoculars.

The cluster was discovered by French astronomer Charles Messier using a 8.38 cm (3.3-inch) refracting telescope at the Hôtel de Cluny (now the Musée national du Moyen Age), in Paris, France on the 31st August 1780

Right Ascension 18h 31m 23.10s, Declination -32° 20' 53.1"

At the time, Charles Messier was searching for an object described by LaCaille in 1751-2 and thought he had rediscovered it, but it is unclear if LaCaille actually described M69.
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It seems probably, given the lower magnitude, that French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille could not have observed the cluster using a 1.27 cm (0.5 inch) refractor.
Also the position indicated by Lacaille's is different from the cluster by approximately 1.2 degrees.
A likely candidate for Lacaille's object (Lac I.11) is a group of three stars of magnitudes 8.3, 7.8 and 8.7 m, which observed with his modest equipment could look like a nebular object.

NGC 6637



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Messier 69



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Hubble Sees Cosmic Riches

694341main1_m69Full.JPG

This dazzling image shows the globular cluster Messier 69, or M 69 for short, as viewed through the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Globular clusters are dense collections of old stars. In this picture, foreground stars look big and golden when set against the backdrop of the thousands of white, silvery stars that make up M 69.
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