Messier 7 - Ptolemy's Cluster

Observation Notes:

A beautiful, wide open cluster near the stinger of Scorpius. While the bulk of the cluster filled the 1.4° view, the more concentrated portion spanned about 15-20'. This concentration was bounded by a square of brighter stars. The SW corner of that square appeared to be marked by a reddish star, while a row of 6 stars spanned the E edge like a spine. As low as this was in the haze of the southern sky, it was still a striking view.


This cluster was recently named after Ptolemy who described it in 130 AD as a "nebula following the sting of Scorpius". M7 is an open cluster consisting of 80 stars brighter than 10th magnitude. It is 800 to 1000 light years distant, and spans 20-25 light years across. The age of the cluster is estimated at 220 million years. The whole group is approaching us at 14 km/sec. The brightest star is a yellow giant. (Thus demonstrating my current ignorance in estimating the color of stars through the eyepiece--it looked red to me, at least in comparison to the neighboring stars.)

SubjectM7/NGC 6475
ClassificationOpen Cluster
PositionScorpius [RA: 17:53.9 / Dec: -34:49]*
Date/Time10/3/04 - 8:00 PM
Observing Loc.Flagstaff, AZ - Home
InstrumentOrion SVP 6LT Reflector (150 mm dia./1200 mm F/L)
Eyepieces/Mag.32 mm (37X)
TransparencyMag 4.5

* Based on published data.

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This page contains a single entry by Jeremy Perez published on October 3, 2004 8:00 PM.

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