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NGC 6779

A globular cluster on the edge of the Milky Way as it passes through the southern regions of the constellation Lyra. With a magnitude of +8.3, the M56 cluster is too faint to be seen with the naked eye. With optical aid, it can be found on an imaginary line running southeastwards from the stars Sheliak and Sulafat in Lyra, in the direction of Albireo in neighbouring Cygnus.

M56 is much farther from the Solar System than any of these stars. Current estimates place it a little less than 33,000 light years from the Sun, far across the Galactic disc and forming part of the halo of globular clusters that surround the Milky Way. Though not so densely structured as many globular clusters, M56 nonetheless incorporates thousands of stars packed into a region less than ninety light years in diameter.


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