M55

Globulars or Open, clusters of stars can be neat viewing.
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Christopher K.
Posts: 4772
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

M55

Post by Christopher K. » September 22nd, 2014, 7:51 pm

Discovered by Lacaille in 1752, Messier saw it in 1778 and proclaimed it "a nebula which is a whitish spot". In very dark or somewhat dark skies the viewer needs only low magnification. Pennington states the magnitude is 6.4, while SEDS has it at 6.3.

M55 is in Sagittarius ~17,300 light-years away (according to SEDS). There really aren't any bright stars next to it; M55 is 5˚18' SW of the K-class, magnitude 4.5 star 59 Sagittarii.

Below are the times during which M55 reaches its culmination of twenty-nine degrees in the Baton Rouge sky...
29 May = 4:18am
2 June = 4:02am
6 June = 3:46am
10 June = 3:31am
14 June = 3:15am
18 June = 2:59am
22 June = 2:44am
26 June = 2:28am
30 June = 2:12am
4 July = 1:56am
8 July = 1:41am
12 July = 1:25am
16 July = 1:09am
20 July = 12:53am
24 July = 12:38am
28 July = 12:22am
1 August = 12:06am
5 August = 11:47pm
9 August = 11:31pm
13 August = 11:15pm
17 August = 10:59pm
21 August = 10:44pm
25 August = 10:28pm
29 August = 10:12pm
2 September = 9:57pm
6 September = 9:41pm
10 September = 9:25pm
14 September = 9:09pm
18 September = 8:54pm
22 September = 8:38pm
26 September = 8:22pm

BRAS member Chad T. got a good image of M55 on the 8th. This image is currently part of the 36-Day Display at HRPO.

More information:
Burnham's Celestial Handbook, pp. 1612-1613.
http://messier.seds.org/m/m055.html

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