M10, NGC 6254 – 2010 07 08

2010 July 8        M10, NGC 6254

PCW Memorial Observatory, Zanesville, Ohio USA – Erika Rix
16” Zhumell, 13mm Ethos

Globular cluster in the constellation Ophiuchus, 16h57.1m – 04°06’

015.1’, m6.6v, ~15,000 light years away

According to the “Night Sky Observer’s Guide” (Kepple and Sanner), Charles Messier discovered this beautiful cluster on May 29th, 1764…a day before he spotted the globular cluster M12 located at 16h47.2m – 01°57’.  I am very rusty at sketching globulars. Alright, I admit, I was never very good at sketching them in the first place.  After 2 attempts at catching this target on paper and an hour and a half later, I put my pencil down and decided to just soak in the views instead. A few misplaced stars (and believe me there were a wondrous amount of them in just the cluster alone, let alone the star field around it) throws the whole sketch off.  I will try again another day.

What I remember most about this cluster were the five bright stars that ran in a straight line through the middle of it. Extending further from each end of that strand were more stars that, overall, created a shallow “S” as it reached out from the mass of stars in the cluster.   I’ve gone ahead and included my unfinished sketch in this post to show the “S” curve.

At 0311 UT, a satellite crossed the FOV west to east just north of M10. Then at 0324, a bright fireball appeared to dissipate nearly as fast as it came to view entering the FOV from the east and became dark just prior to reaching the southern tip of the “S” curve.

I had a hard time finding a good image/sketch on the web that most resembled my view. I finally came across this excellent image from www.suffolksky.com by Hersey.

http://www.suffolksky.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/m10-07042010-16×60-at66-croplevel.jpg

Notice the long strand of stars, starting with the five in the middle of the image and then reaching out on either end to form the curves. In his image, the strand runs north to south. The view was stunning through my eyepiece and the longer I looked at, the more stellar the cluster became.

For more information, you can read about M10 on Universe Today website: www.universetoday.com/guide-to-space/messier-objects/messier-10

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~ by Erika Rix on July 8, 2010.

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