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Messier 14

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Messier 14

Messier 14
Messier 14, from 2MASS
Observation data (J2000 epoch)
Class VIII[1]
Constellation Ophiuchus
Right ascension 17h 37m 36.15s[2]
Declination –03° 14′ 45.3″[2]
Distance 30.3 kly (9.3 kpc)[3]
Apparent magnitude (V) +8.32[2]
Apparent dimensions (V) 11.0′
Physical characteristics
Mass 1.04×106[3] M
Radius 50 ly[4]
Metallicity –1.28[3] dex
Other designations NGC 6402[2]

Messier 14 (also known as M14 or NGC 6402) is a globular cluster in the constellation Ophiuchus. It was discovered by Charles Messier in 1764.

At a distance of about 30,000 light-years, M14 contains several hundred thousand stars. At an apparent magnitude of +7.6 it can be easily observed with binoculars. Medium-sized telescopes will show some hint of the individual stars of which the brightest is of magnitude +14.

The total luminosity of M14 is in the order of 400,000 times that of the Sun corresponding to an absolute magnitude of -9.12. The shape of the cluster is decidedly elongated. M14 is about 100 light-years across.

A total of 70 variable stars are known in M14, many of the W Virginis variety common in globular clusters. In 1938, a nova appeared, although this was not discovered until photographic plates from that time were studied in 1964. It is estimated that the nova reached a maximum brightness of magnitude +9.2, over five times brighter than the brightest 'normal' star in the cluster.

Slightly over 3° southwest of M14 lies the faint globular cluster NGC 6366.

Messier 14 with amateur telescope
Map showing location of Messier 14


  1. ^ Shapley, Harlow; Sawyer, Helen B. (August 1927), "A Classification of Globular Clusters", Harvard College Observatory Bulletin (849): 11–14,  
  2. ^ a b c d "SIMBAD Astronomical Database". Results for NGC 6402. Retrieved 2006-11-15. 
  3. ^ a b c Boyles, J.; et al. (November 2011), "Young Radio Pulsars in Galactic Globular Clusters", The Astrophysical Journal 742 (1): 51,  
  4. ^ distance × sin( diameter_angle / 2 ) = 50 ly radius

External links

  • SEDS Messier pages on M14
  • M14, Galactic Globular Clusters Database page
  • Messier 14 on WikiSky: DSS2, SDSS, GALEX, IRAS, Hydrogen α, X-Ray, Astrophoto, Sky Map, Articles and images

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