In Episode SH035 of Star Hopping…
We’ll be exploring the Sagittarius region. We’ll use our star hopping methods to find the the pretty open cluster Messier 25, the globular cluster Messier 28, and the somewhat difficult to locate globular cluster, Messier 55.
This is the point where we have wrapped around the celestial sphere with Star Hopping. We originally discussed the constellation of Sagittarius on Episode 1!
Well since I’m looking at areas of the sky that will be rising in the next couple of months, we’ve made a complete celestial loop on Star Hopping. This week’s episode looks at three clusters in Sagittarius, and we reviewed this amazing constellation in Episode 1 of Star Hopping. We checked out this area of the night sky last year in August, when it was positioned well up into the southern sky. As I’ve mentioned several times, Sagittarius is shaped like a teapot, with a handle, a lid, and a spout.
Sagittarius is full of amazing deep sky objects because it has within its borders the center of the Milky Way galaxy. In a reasonably dark sky, away from city lights, you can look just above the spout of the teapot to find the center of the Milky Way. This appears as the brightest section of the river of light that crosses the sky from the south to the northeast in the late spring and summer months.
We discussed some of the greatest objects in Sagittarius in Episode 1, such as M8, the Lagoon Nebula, M20, the Trifid Nebula, and the huge globular cluster M22. Fairly recently, in Episode 33, we presented M16, the Eagle Nebula, and M17, the Omega Nebula.
But there are tons of other very good objects left over, even for another couple of loops of Star Hopping. That’s the beauty of talking about deep sky objects – I will literally never run out of things to talk about on this show!!
In this week’s episode, we have two nice globulars and a beautiful open cluster. The last one is sitting right in the center of that river of light, just above the lid of the teapot. We’ll check it out right after this…
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Credits for this Episode
- Star Chart Images & Simulations Courtesy of SkySafari Astronomy http://SkySafariAstronomy.com.
- M22 image by Hunter Wilson
- M25 image by CFHT Mauna Kea
- M28 image by the Hubble Space Telescope