Messier 68 (RGB)


After a run of galaxies it was time for a bit of a visual palette cleanser and it is still a bit early for the summer nebulae so a globular cluster turned out to be the “special on the menu”. This is a relatively quick 12 hour image on M68, a globular cluster in Hydra.

This is fairly far south with a declination of -26 degrees and it would be tough to image from home at 39 degrees north latitude but the Texas observatory is at 30 degrees north and make it a still low but more manageable target.

M68 is about 33.6 thousand light years from Earth and has an apparent size of just 11 arcminutes. It is quite old with an estimated age of 11.2 billion years. Because these are such old stars they are very metal poor compared to younger stars like our sun .

For technical details on processing see astrobin.

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