Group or Asterism of 4 Stars M73 (NGC 6994) in Aquarius

RA 20 : 58.9 (h:m); DEC -12 : 38 (deg:m); Distance 2.500 light years;
Visual Brightness 9.0 (mag); Apparent Dimension 2.8 (arc min)

The object Messier 73 is a little conspicuous assortment of four stars of 10th to 12th magnitude, situated in the very western part of constellation Aquarius; its nature as a physical group is doubtful. It lies only about 1.5 deg east of globular cluster M72.
Apparently, this group found its way into Messier's catalog because he had determined its position at the same time when measuring M72, which is 1.5 degrees to the west. It may have been included because of its "first-glance nebulous" appearance in Messier's instruments.

Source and more: SEDS


September 9, 2006 20:11 - 20:18 UT.
Imaged with LX200 10-inch f/10 telescope with 0.33 Focal Reducer operating at f/4.06 [focal length 1015mm] and Baader Infra Red Blocking Filter.
Camera: Vesta Pro SC3a colour RAW webcam, 31 unguided exposures of 7 seconds.