Hemisphere:  Northern  ·  Contains:  M 3  ·  M3  ·  NGC 5272
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M3 (NGC 5272), Messier’s First Original Discovery, 


            Ruben Barbosa
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M3 (NGC 5272), Messier’s First Original Discovery

Technical card

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Ritchey-Chretien 32

Imaging cameras: SBIG STL-11000 CCD

Software: Maxim DL, Gimp

Blue: 6x60" bin 1x1
Green: 6x60" bin 1x1
Lum: 9x60" bin 1x1
Red: 6x60" bin 1x1

Integration: 0.5 hours

Astrometry.net job: 1921697

RA center: 13h 42' 12"

DEC center: +28° 23' 5"

Pixel scale: 0.309 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 175.159 degrees

Field radius: 0.185 degrees

Resolution: 3610x2372


* Image Acquisition by Jim Misti and Steve Mazlin.
* Processing: Ruben Barbosa.

Messier 3 (M3 or NGC 5272) is a globular cluster of stars in the northern constellation of Canes Venatici.

Many amateur astronomers consider it one of the finest northern globular clusters. M3 has an apparent magnitude of 6.2, making it a difficult naked eye target even with dark conditions. With a moderate-sized telescope, the cluster is fully defined. It can be a challenge to locate through the technique of star hopping, but can be found by looking almost exactly halfway along an imaginary line connecting the bright star Arcturus to Cor Caroli. Using a telescope with a 25 cm (9.8 in) aperture, the cluster has a bright core with a diameter of about 6 arcminutes and spans a total of 12 arcminutes.

This cluster is one of the largest and brightest, and is made up of around 500,000 stars. It is estimated to be 8 billion years old. It is located at a distance of about 33,900 light-years away from Earth.

Messier 3 is located 31.6 kly above the Galactic plane and roughly 38.8 kly from the center of the Milky Way. It contains 274 known variable stars; by far the highest number found in any globular cluster. These include 133 RR Lyrae variables, of which about a third display the Blazhko effect of long-period modulation.



Ruben Barbosa
License: None (All rights reserved)

Sky plot

Sky plot


M3 (NGC 5272), Messier’s First Original Discovery, 


            Ruben Barbosa