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NGC 6494

Proper NameNone
Messier NumberM23
NGC/IC NumberNGC 6494
Right Ascension17h 57m 4s
Declination-18° 59' 6"
Distancec.2,000 light years
c.600 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +5.5
Absolute: -3.5
DiameterApparent: 29'
Actual: 17 light years
Number of Starsc. 900
Optimum VisibilityJuly
NotesM23 is one of a host of clusters and nebulae running along the Milky Way in the western parts of Sagittarius, in the direction of the Galaxy's core. It covers an area of the sky closely equivalent to that covered by the disc of the Moon.

This is a relatively young star cluster, probably no more than 200 million years old. Consisting primarily of blue stars, it has some similarities to the better known Pleiades, but is somewhat more developed and about four times further away from Earth.

The Heart of M23

The scattering of young blue stars that lie in the heart of the star cluster known as M23, in the constellation of Sagittarius.

Relative Galactic Position of M23

The star cluster known as Messier 23 lies almost exactly in the direction of our Galaxy's core. It is more than 2,000 light years nearer to the centre than the Sun.


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