Stars in the sky
Frequent targets for fans of astronomy and astrophotography are beautiful groups of stars in the sky. These are the regions of the sky where we see thickened clusters of stars, and which are the “true pearls of the sky”. Messier 7 (M7) can be easily found in the constellation Scorpio. With an apparent magnitude of 3.3, M7 is approximately 980 light-years from Earth. It is a beautiful open cluster of stars first recorded (in the 2nd century) by the Greek astronomer Claudius Ptolemy. The object was introduced in the “Almagest” under the number 567. That is why this set of stars is also known as Ptolemy’s cluster. Charles Messier in 1764 – introduced this star cluster into his catalog as an M7 object, and in astronomy it is also known as NGC 6475.
This is one of the few Messier objects that is easily found with the naked eye. Due to its large size (twice the apparent size of a full moon) – M7 is easiest to observe with binoculars. Therefore, you don’t need strong telescopes. In average binoculars, it occupies about 1/3 of the field of view. Although I said the M7 can be easily found, for observers in the northern hemisphere it is a nice challenge. M7 is Messier’s southernmost object in the sky, and the constellation Scorpio never rises high above the horizon. This should be prepared for, and the M7 is best observed during the clear summer months. A very nice photo of the Messier 7 star set was taken by my friends Eric Recurt and Roberto Colombari.
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