Globular Cluster M12 in Ophiuchus
The Globular Cluster M12 is the brightest and most northern of seven globular clusters originally catalogued by Charles Messier over 200 years ago in the constellation
Ophiuchus.  At a distance of 16,000 light years, M12 shows less concentration of stars than most other globular clusters.  Many of its original low-mass stars may have
been stripped away by gravitational interactions with the Milky Way.

The scientfic study of globular clusters provides important clues to the age of the universe and the formation of our galaxy.  The age of globular clusters can be determined
by spectral analysis, which shows the content of metals (metallicity).  Older stars, forming in the early years of the universe, will have less heavy elements because fewer
supernovas had formed and distributed these elements to the interstellar void.  Globular clusters are among the oldest objects whose age can be measured, giving a lower
constraint on the age of the universe.  Secondly, the spatial distribution of globulars around our galaxy, combined with knowledge of their age, helps to define factors
influencing the formation of our galaxy.
This image included 65 minutes of luminance with an ST10XME camera through a Meade 12" LX200R and an AP reducer, plus 33 minutes of red, 30 minutes green and
30 minutes of blue exposures with an ST2000XM camera through a TEC140 refractor.   All exposures were unbinned.
Music:  Tonight She Comes - Cars
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