IYA Live Telescope Today: M11 and 47 Tucanae

Article written: 7 Aug , 2009
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
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Did you get a chance to check out the IYA “Live” Telescope today? After a prolonged period of clouds and bad weather in Central Victoria, we at least had a partially clear night. Our two objects for the evening were Messier 11 and stunning globular cluster 47 Tucanae. If you didn’t get a chance to see them, why not step inside? We’re making popcorn and playing a re-run…

Since we’ve done both these objects before under better sky conditions, why not show you the better video? Without further ado, here’s some information from Wikipedia:

The Wild Duck Cluster (also known as Messier 11, or NGC 6705) is an open cluster in the constellation Scutum. It was discovered by Gottfried Kirch in 1681. Charles Messier included it in his catalogue in 1764.

The Wild Duck Cluster is one of the richest and most compact of the known open clusters, containing about 2900 stars. Its age has been estimated to about 220 million years. Its name derives from the brighter stars forming a triangle which could represent a flying flock of ducks.

47 Tucanae (NGC 104) or just 47 Tuc is a globular cluster located in the constellation Tucana. It is about 16,700 light years away from Earth, and 120 light years across. It can be seen with the naked eye, and it is bright enough to earn a Flamsteed designation with a visual magnitude of 4.0. It is one of only a small number of features in the southern sky with such a designation.

47 Tucanae was discovered by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1751, its southern location having hidden it from European observers until then. (And even with hazy, moonlit skies, this bad boy was bright in the eyepiece! WOW! I can only imagine what it would look like to see it in person…)

It has 22 known millisecond pulsars, and at least 21 blue stragglers near the core. 47 Tucanae is included in Sir Patrick Moore’s Caldwell catalogue as C106. NGC 104 competes with NGC 5139 for the title: Most splendid Globular Cluster in the sky. NGC 104 has two features in its favour. It is rounder and has a more compact core. However due to location more observers go for NGC 5139.

Until next time, keep on checking the IYA Live Telescope link to your right when you have the chance! Like many areas of the world undergoing seasonal change… It can’t stay cloudy forever. Or can it?

(Factual Information Source: Wikipedia)


2 Responses

  1. Jon Hanford says

    Thanks for these replays, Tammy. Just the thing I like to watch when my Tampa skies are cloudy, too 🙂 . M 11 is quite a sight in any telescope, set in the summer Milky Way. 47 Tuc, while below my horizon, fuels the need to observe the delights of the Southern Skies firsthand. Definitely a jaw-dropping sight, even through the IYA Live Telescope. Hopefully the sky will cooperate soon at your Central Victoria site. Thanks again to all involved in this labor of love and keep ’em coming, Tammy!

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