Messier 54

Messier 54 (also known as M54 or NGC 6715) is a globular cluster in the constellation Sagittarius. It was discovered by Charles Messier in 1778 and subsequently included in his catalog of comet-like objects.

M54 is easily found in the sky, being close to the star ζ Sagittarii. It is, however, not resolvable into individual stars even with larger amateur telescopes.

Messier 54
Messier 54 HST
M54 by Hubble Space Telescope; 3.4′ view
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Observation data (J2000 epoch)
Right ascension 18h 55m 03.33s[2]
Declination−30° 28′ 47.5″[2]
Distance87.4 kly (26.8 kpc)[3]
Apparent magnitude (V)8.37[4]
Apparent dimensions (V)12′.0
Physical characteristics
Radius153 ly[5]
Estimated age13 Gyr[6]
Notable featuresProbably extragalactic
Other designationsM54,[4] NGC 6715,[4] GCl 104,[4] C 1851-305[4]


Previously thought to belong to the Milky Way at a distance from Earth of about 50,000 light-years, it was discovered in 1994 that M54 most likely belongs to the Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy (SagDEG),[7] making it the first globular cluster formerly thought to be part of our galaxy reassigned to extragalactic status, even if not recognized as such for nearly two and a quarter centuries. As it is located on SagDEG's center, some authors think it actually may be its core;[8] however others have proposed that it is a real globular cluster that fell to the center of this galaxy due to decay of its orbit caused by dynamical friction.[9]

Modern estimates now place M54 at a distance of some 87,000 light-years,[3] translating into a true radius of 150 light-years across.[5] It is one of the denser of the globulars, being of class III[1] (I being densest and XII being the least dense). It shines with the luminosity of roughly 850,000 times that of the Sun and has an absolute magnitude of −10.0.

Intermediate-mass black hole

In July 2009, a team of astronomers reported that they had found evidence of an intermediate-mass black hole in the core of M54.[10]

Map showing location of M54 (RobertoMura)

See also


  1. ^ a b Shapley, Harlow; Sawyer, Helen B. (August 1927). "A Classification of Globular Clusters". Harvard College Observatory Bulletin. 849 (849): 11–14. Bibcode:1927BHarO.849...11S.
  2. ^ a b Goldsbury, Ryan; et al. (December 2010). "The ACS Survey of Galactic Globular Clusters. X. New Determinations of Centers for 65 Clusters". The Astronomical Journal. 140 (6): 1830–1837. arXiv:1008.2755. Bibcode:2010AJ....140.1830G. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/140/6/1830.
  3. ^ a b Ramsay, Gavin; Wu, Kinwah (2005). "Chandra observations of the globular cluster M54". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 447: 199–203. arXiv:astro-ph/0510217. Bibcode:2006A&A...447..199R. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20053855.
  4. ^ a b c d e "M 54". SIMBAD. Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg. Retrieved 2006-11-16.
  5. ^ a b From trigonometry: radius = distance × sin( diameter_angle / 2 ) = 153 ly.
  6. ^ Geisler, Doug; Wallerstein, George; Smith, Verne V.; Casetti-Dinescu, Dana I. (2007). "Chemical Abundances and Kinematics in Globular Clusters and Local Group Dwarf Galaxies and Their Implications for Formation Theories of the Galactic Halo". Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. 119 (859): 939–961. arXiv:0708.0570. Bibcode:2007PASP..119..939G. doi:10.1086/521990.
  7. ^ Siegel, Michael H.; Dotter, Aaron; Majewski, Steven R.; Sarajedini, Ata; et al. (2007). "The ACS Survey of Galactic Globular Clusters: M54 and Young Populations in the Sagittarius Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy". Astrophysical Journal Letters. 667 (1): L57–L60. arXiv:0708.0027. Bibcode:2007ApJ...667L..57S. doi:10.1086/522003.
  8. ^ Carretta, E.; Bragaglia, A.; Gratton, R. G.; Lucatello, S.; et al. (2010). "M54 + Sagittarius = ω Centauri". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 714 (1): L7–L11. arXiv:1002.1963. Bibcode:2010ApJ...714L...7C. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/714/1/L7.
  9. ^ Bellazzini, M.; Ibata, R. A.; Chapman, S. C.; Mackey, A. D.; et al. (2008). "The Nucleus of the Sagittarius Dsph Galaxy and M54: a Window on the Process of Galaxy Nucleation". The Astronomical Journal. 136 (3): 1147–1170. arXiv:0807.0105. Bibcode:2008AJ....136.1147B. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/136/3/1147.
  10. ^ Ibata, R.; Bellazzini, M.; Chapman, S. C.; Dalessandro, E.; et al. (2009). "Density and Kinematic Cusps in M54 at the Heart of the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy: Evidence for a 104 M Black Hole?". Astrophysical Journal Letters. 699 (2): L169–L173. arXiv:0906.4894. Bibcode:2009ApJ...699L.169I. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/699/2/L169.

External links

Coordinates: Sky map 18h 55m 03.28s, −30° 28′ 42.6″

FSR 1758

FSR 1758 is a large and bright but heavily obscured globular cluster belonging to the Milky Way galaxy. It is located at a distance of about 11.5 kpc from the Sun and about 3.7 kpc from the center of the galaxy. As FSR 1758 lies behind the galactic bulge it is heavily obscured by the foreground stars and dust. It was first noticed in 2007 in 2MASS data and believed to be an open cluster, until data from the Gaia mission revealed in 2018 it is a globular cluster.

The size and brightness of FSR 1758 may be comparable or exceed those of the Omega Centauri cluster, which is widely believed to be the nucleus of a dwarf galaxy that merged into Milky Way in the past. Therefore, FSR 1758 may be the nucleus of dwarf galaxy tentatively named Scorpius Dwarf galaxy. It can also be similar to another globular cluster Messier 54, which is known to be the nucleus of Sagittarius Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy.

Globular cluster

A globular cluster is a spherical collection of stars that orbit a galactic core, as a satellite. Globular clusters are very tightly bound by gravity, which gives them their spherical shapes, and relatively high stellar densities toward their centers. The name of this category of star cluster is derived from the Latin, globulus—a small sphere. A globular cluster is sometimes known, more simply, as a globular.

Globular clusters are found in the halo of a galaxy and contain considerably more stars, and are much older, than the less dense, open clusters which are found in the disk of a galaxy. Globular clusters are fairly common; there are about 150 to 158, currently known globular clusters in the Milky Way, with, perhaps, 10 to 20 more, still undiscovered. Larger galaxies can have more: The Andromeda Galaxy, for instance, may have as many as 500. Some giant elliptical galaxies (particularly those at the centers of galaxy clusters), such as M87, have as many as 13,000 globular clusters.

Every galaxy of sufficient mass in the Local Group has an associated group of globular clusters, and almost every large galaxy surveyed, has been found to possess a system of globular clusters. The Sagittarius Dwarf galaxy, and the disputed Canis Major Dwarf galaxy appear to be in the process of donating their associated globular clusters (such as Palomar 12) to the Milky Way. This demonstrates how many of this galaxy's globular clusters might have been acquired in the past.

Although it appears that globular clusters contain some of the first stars to be produced in the galaxy, their origins and their role in galactic evolution are still unclear. It does appear clear that globular clusters are significantly different from dwarf elliptical galaxies and were formed as part of the star formation of the parent galaxy, rather than as a separate galaxy.

List of NGC objects (6001–7000)

This is a list of NGC objects 6001–7000 from the New General Catalogue (NGC). The astronomical catalogue is composed mainly of star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. Other objects in the catalogue can be found in the other subpages of the list of NGC objects.

The constellation information in these tables is taken from The Complete New General Catalogue and Index Catalogue of Nebulae and Star Clusters by J. L. E. Dreyer, which was accessed using the "VizieR Service". Galaxy types are identified using the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database. The other data of these tables are from the SIMBAD Astronomical Database unless otherwise stated.


M54 or M-54 may be:


M54 motorway, a motorway in England also known as the Telford Motorway

M-54 (Michigan highway), a state highway in MichiganVehicles:

BMW M54, a 2000 automobile engine

M54 (truck), a heavy truck used by the United States armed forcesAstronomy:

Messier 54, a globular cluster in the constellation Sagittarius

Mayall II

Mayall II, also known as NGC-224-G1, SKHB 1, GSC 2788:2139, HBK 0-1, M31GC J003247+393440 or Andromeda's Cluster, is a globular cluster orbiting M31, the Andromeda Galaxy.

It is located 130,000 light-years (40 kpc) from the Andromeda Galaxy's galactic core, and is the brightest (by absolute magnitude) globular cluster in the Local Group, having an apparent magnitude of 13.81 in V band. Mayall II is considered to have twice the mass of Omega Centauri, and may contain a central, intermediate-mass (∼ 2×104 M⊙) black hole.It was first identified as a possible globular cluster by American astronomers Nicholas Mayall and Olin J. Eggen in 1953 using a Palomar 48-inch (1.2 m) Schmidt plate exposed in 1948.Because of the widespread distribution of metallicity, indicating multiple star generations and a large stellar creation period, many contend that it is not a true globular cluster, but is actually the galactic core that remains of a dwarf galaxy consumed by Andromeda.

Messier 79

Messier 79 (also known as M79 or NGC 1904) is a globular cluster in the constellation Lepus. It was discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1780 and is at a distance of about 42,000 light years away from Earth and 60,000 light years away from the Galactic Center.

Like Messier 54 (the other extragalactic globular on Messier's list), it is thought that M79 is not native to the Milky Way galaxy at all, but instead to the putative Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy, which is currently experiencing a very close encounter with the Milky Way. This is, however, a contentious subject as astronomers are still debating the nature of the Canis Major dwarf galaxy itself.

Messier object

The Messier objects are a set of 110 astronomical objects cataloged by the French astronomer Charles Messier in his Catalogue des Nébuleuses et des Amas d'Étoiles ("Catalogue of Nebulae and Star Clusters").

Because Messier was interested in finding only comets, he created a list of non-comet objects that frustrated his hunt for them. The compilation of this list, in collaboration with his assistant Pierre Méchain, is known as the Messier catalogue. This catalogue of objects is one of the most famous lists of astronomical objects, and many Messier objects are still referenced by their Messier number.

The catalogue includes some astronomical objects that can be observed from Earth's Northern Hemisphere such as deep-sky objects, a characteristic which makes the Messier objects extremely popular targets for amateur astronomers.A preliminary version first appeared in the Memoirs of the French Academy of Sciences in 1771,

and the last item was added in 1966 by Kenneth Glyn Jones, based on Messier's observations.

The first version of Messier's catalogue contained 45 objects and was published in 1774 in the journal of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris. In addition to his own discoveries, this version included objects previously observed by other astronomers, with only 17 of the 45 objects being Messier's.

By 1780 the catalogue had increased to 80 objects. The final version of the catalogue containing 103 objects was published in 1781 in the Connaissance des Temps for the year 1784.

However, due to what was thought for a long time to be the incorrect addition of Messier 102, the total number remained 102. Other astronomers, using side notes in Messier's texts, eventually filled out the list up to 110 objects.The catalogue consists of a diverse range of astronomical objects, ranging from star clusters and nebulae to galaxies. For example, Messier 1 is a supernova remnant, known as the Crab Nebula, and the great spiral Andromeda Galaxy is M31. Many further inclusions followed in the next century when the first addition came from Nicolas Camille Flammarion in 1921, who added Messier 104 after finding Messier's side note in his 1781 edition exemplar of the catalogue. M105 to M107 were added by Helen Sawyer Hogg in 1947, M108 and M109 by Owen Gingerich in 1960, and M110 by Kenneth Glyn Jones in 1967.

NGC 2808

NGC 2808 is a globular cluster in the constellation Carina. The cluster belongs to the Milky Way, and is one of our home galaxy's most massive clusters, containing more than a million stars. It is estimated to be 12.5-billion years old.

Omega Centauri

Omega Centauri (ω Cen or NGC 5139) is a globular cluster in the constellation of Centaurus that was first identified as a non-stellar object by Edmond Halley in 1677. Located at a distance of 15,800 light-years (4,850 pc), it is the largest globular cluster in the Milky Way at a diameter of roughly 150 light-years. It is estimated to contain approximately 10 million stars and a total mass equivalent to 4 million solar masses, making it the most massive globular cluster of the Milky Way.

Omega Centauri is so distinctive from the other galactic globular clusters that it is thought to have an alternative origin as the core remnant of a disrupted dwarf galaxy.

Sagittarius (constellation)

Sagittarius is one of the constellations of the zodiac. It is one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy and remains one of the 88 modern constellations. Its name is Latin for the archer, and its symbol is (Unicode U+2650 ♐), a stylized arrow. Sagittarius is commonly represented as a centaur pulling back a bow. It lies between Scorpius and Ophiuchus to the west and Capricornus and Microscopium to the east.

The center of the Milky Way lies in the westernmost part of Sagittarius (see Sagittarius A).

Sagittarius Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy

The Sagittarius Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy (Sgr dSph), also known as the Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy (Sgr dE or Sag DEG), is an elliptical loop-shaped satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. It consists of four globular clusters, the main cluster having been discovered in 1994. Sgr dSph is roughly 10,000 light-years in diameter, and is currently about 70,000 light-years from Earth, travelling in a polar orbit (i.e. an orbit passing over the Milky Way's galactic poles) at a distance of about 50,000 light-years from the core of the Milky Way (about ​1⁄3 of the distance of the Large Magellanic Cloud). In its looping, spiraling path, it has passed through the plane of the Milky Way several times in the past. In 2018 the Gaia project of the European Space Agency showed that Sgr dSph had caused perturbations in a set of stars near the Milky Way's core, causing unexpected rippling movements of the stars triggered when it sailed past the Milky Way between 300 and 900 million years ago.

Shapley–Sawyer Concentration Class

The Shapley–Sawyer Concentration Class is a classification system on a scale of one to twelve using Roman numerals for globular clusters according to their concentration. The most highly concentrated clusters such as M75 are classified as Class I, with successively diminishing concentrations ranging to Class XII, such as Palomar 12. (The class is sometimes given with numbers [Class 1–12] rather than with Roman numerals.)

UDF 2457

UDF 2457 is the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (UDF) identifier for a red dwarf star calculated to be about 59,000 light-years (18 kiloparsecs) from Earth with a very dim apparent magnitude of 25.The Milky Way galaxy is about 100,000 light-years in diameter, and the Sun is about 25,000 light-years from the galactic center. The small common star UDF 2457 may be one of the farthest known stars inside the main body of the Milky Way. Globular clusters (such as Messier 54 and NGC 2419) and stellar streams are located further out in the galactic halo.

See also
Galactic core
Spiral arms
Satellite galaxies

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