In Episode SH032 of Star Hopping…
We’ll be exploring the Scorpius region, and we’ll use our star hopping methods to find the bright open clusters Messier 6 (The Butterfly Cluster), Messier 7 (Ptolemy’s Cluster), and the irregularly shaped globular cluster Messier 62.
So over the next couple of weeks in the late evening, we’ll start to see the stars of summer rising out of the east. One of the most striking areas of the sky is the constellation of Scorpius the Scorpion, with its curved tail and arrow shaped head, pointing its way into the southern sky. The constellation finally reaches it’s highest point, also known as it’s culmination, in the mid summer months.
Scorpius is just loaded with star clusters and nebulae, and the Milky Way passes right through the Scorpion’s stinger and curved tail. The center of the galaxy lies just about 10 degrees to the left of it, just above the spout of the teapot in the constellation of Sagittarius.
There are two bright open clusters near the stinger of Scorpius, and we’ll find the largest and brightest one, right after this.
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Credits for this Episode
- Star Chart Images & Simulations Courtesy of SkySafari Astronomy http://SkySafariAstronomy.com.
- M6 image by Sergio Equivar
- M7 image by Rolf Olson
- M62 by the Hubble Space Telescope