M22 Globular Cluster

Messier 22 (M22) is a globular cluster located near the Milky Way bulge, the tightly packed group of stars near the galactic center. That is the reason why you see so many stars in this image as this area is part of the spiral arms closer to center of our galaxy and therefore a very dense area.

Messier 22 lies in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius. It is one of the brightest globular clusters in the sky and was one of the first objects of this kind to be discovered and later studied.

M22 is also one of the nearest globulars to the solar system. M22 is elliptical in shape and lies at a distance of 10,600 light years from Earth.

With a visual magnitude of 5.5, M22 is the brightest globular cluster visible from the mid-northern latitudes. However, as it lies in the southern constellation Sagittarius, M22 never rises very high in the sky and can’t really be observed in all its glory from the northern hemisphere. It doesn’t offer a view as impressive as those of Messier 13 in Hercules and Messier 5 in Serpens.

I took this image over 6.2 hours (51 images of 5 minutes and 13 images each for RGB colors of 3 minutes).

The above is a cropped version of the central area of this cluster.

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