Welcome back to Messier Monday! Today, we continue in our homage to our dear buddy, Tammy Plotner, by taking a look at the globular cluster referred to as Messier 80!

Throughout the 18 th century, well known French astronomer Charles Messier observed the existence of a number of “ambiguous things” while surveying the night sky. Initially misinterpreting these things for comets, he started to brochure them so that others would not make the exact same error. Today, the resulting list (referred to as the Messier Brochure) consists of over 100 things and is among the most prominent brochures of Deep Area Objects.

Among these things is Messier 80, a globular star cluster situated about 32,600 light years from Earth in the constellation Scorpius This cluster is among the most largely occupied in our galaxy and lies about midway in between the intense stars Antares, Alpha Scorpii, Akrab and Beta Scorpii– making it fairly simple to discover.

What You Are Taking a look at:

This extremely thick globular cluster is house to numerous countless stars– all jam-packed firmly together in a sphere determining about 95 light years in size. While Messier 80 lay at the extraordinary range of 32,600 light years from our planetary system, the quantity of candlepower it puts out makes it shine at a healthy magnitude 8 and it holds court as one of the most thick of all understood Galaxy globulars. So what does understanding magnitudes aid with when it pertains to study? Since in some cases old things end up being brand-new once again …

The globular cluster Messier 80, seen in between the intense stars of Antares, Al Niyat, Akrad and Jabbah in the constellation Scorpius. Credit: Wikisky

Said Michael Shara of the Area Telescope Science Institute in a 2000 research study:

” Novae are anticipated to form in all excellent systems with a binary population. Detection of extragalactic novae supplies direct proof of close binary populations and possible spatial variations in those populations. Contrast of extragalactic novae with their regional equivalents can yield important tests of close binary development theory. I report early arise from studies of globular clusters, the Big Magellanic Cloud and M81 for classical novae in eruption and in quiescence. T Sco, the nova of 1860 A.D. in the globular cluster M80, has actually now been recuperated. It is 3 magnitudes fainter than canonical old novae, though this may be a disposition result. 7 quiescent old novae in the Big Magellanic Cloud have actually been recuperated (at brightnesses similar to their Stellar equivalents). Their orbital durations are now within reach.”

And in some cases they do not simply go nova … They can go supernova! As Matthew J. Benacquista suggested in a 2002 research study:

” As an old population of stars, globular clusters include lots of collapsed and degenerate things. As a thick population of stars, globular clusters are the scene of lots of fascinating close dynamical interactions in between stars. These dynamical interactions can modify the development of private stars and can produce tight double stars consisting of a couple of compact things. Globular cluster development will concentrate on the homes that increase the production of tough double stars and on the tidal interactions of the galaxy with the cluster, which tend to modify the structure of the globular cluster with time. The interaction of the parts of tough double stars modifies the development of both bodies and can cause unique things. Depending upon the information of the mass exchange and the evolutionary phase of the mass-losing star there are a number of results that will cause the development of a relativistic binary. The main star can lose its envelope, exposing its degenerate core as either a helium, carbon-oxygen, or oxygen-neon white dwarf; it can blow up as a supernova, leaving a neutron star or a great void; or it can just lose mass to the secondary so that they alter functions. Disallowing disturbance of the binary, its development will then continue. In many results, the secondary is now the more huge of the 2 stars and it might progress off the primary series to fill its Roche lobe. The secondary can then start mass transfer or mass loss with the outcome that the secondary likewise can end up being a white dwarf, neutron star, or great void.”

History of Observation:

Thankfully Charles Messier wasn’t in a great void when he found M80 on the night of January 4,1781 In his notes he composed:

” Nebula without star, in Scorpius, in between the stars Rho Ophiuchi and Delta, compared to identify its position: this nebula is round, the center dazzling, and it looks like the nucleus of a little Comet, surrounded with nebulosity. M. Mechain saw it on January 27, 1781.”

3 years later on, Sir William Herschel would not see nebulosity– he ‘d see stars. In his personal notes he composed:

” A globular cluster of incredibly minute and extremely compressed stars of about 3 or 4 minutes in size; extremely slowly much brighter in the middle; towards the area the stars are clearly seen, and are the tiniest you can possibly imagine.”

Some fifty years later on, Admiral Smyth would include his own notes to M80’s historical record:

“A compressed globular cluster of extremely minute stars, on the best foot of Ophiuchus, which is on Scorpio’s back. This fine and intense item was signed up by Messier in 1780, who explained it as looking like the nucleus of a comet; and undoubtedly, from the blazing centre and attenuated disc, it has a really cometary element. There are some little stars both above and listed below its following parallel, of which 3 of those in the north type a coarse triangle; however the field and the area are otherwise barren. An early star of Ophiuchus, No. 17 P. XVI., somewhat precedes this remarkable corporation, about half a degree to the northward, and though just of the 8th magnitude, is a hassle-free index to technique to the out-door gazer. Such details are not required by the male with repaired instruments, however will considerably help with the operations of those who are more amazing for intellectual energy than for methods. The mean obvious location is separated from Delta Scorpii, from which it lies east, at 4 deg range; and it is mid-way in between Alpha and Beta Scorpii.

” This is a really crucial item when nebulae are thought about in their relations to the surrounding areas, which areas, Sir William Herschel discovered, normally include extremely couple of stars: a lot so, that whenever it occurred, after a brief time frame, that no star entered the field of his instrument, he was accustomed to his assistant, “Make all set to compose, Nebulae are simply approaching.” Now our present item lies on the western edge of a large unknown opening, or area of 4 deg in breadth, in which no stars are to be seen; and Sir William pronounced 80 Messier, albeit it had actually been signed up as nébuleuse sans étoiles [nebula without stars], to be the wealthiest and most condensed mass of stars which the heavens can provide to the consideration of astronomers.”

Consider it … I attempt you!

Finding Messier 80:

Do not you simply like a Messier item that’s simple to discover? Simply intend your field glasses or telescope finderscope nearly precisely half-way in between Antares (Alpha Scorpii) and Graffias (Beta Scorpii) and you’ll quickly get this little powerpunch globular cluster!

M80 is really a firecracker … What it does not have in size, it offsets in brightness and concentration. Quickly seen in little field glasses and the finderscope as a “hairy” looking ball somewhat bigger than a star and quickly identifiable as a globular cluster in bigger field glasses and a little telescope, you’re going to like what takes place when aperture enters into play. Simply attempt to fix this one! M80 is extremely well matched to metropolitan skies, reasonably light contaminated sky conditions and even an unexpected quantity of moonlight.

The place of Messier 80 in the constellation Scorpius. Credit: IAU/ Sky & Telescope publication (Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg)

And here are the fast truths to assist you start:

Things Call: Messier 80
Alternative Classifications: M80, NGC 6093
Things Type: Class II Globular Cluster
Constellation: Scorpio
Right Ascension: 16: 17.0 (h: m)
Declination: -22: 59 (deg: m)
Range: 32.6 (kly)
Visual Brightness: 7.3 (mag)
Evident Measurement: 10.0 (arc minutes)

We have actually composed lots of fascinating short articles about Messier Objects and globular clusters here at Universe Today. Here’s Tammy Plotner’s Intro to the Messier Items, M1– The Crab Nebula, Observing Spotlight– Whatever Took Place to Messier 71?, and David Dickison’s short articles on the 2013 and 2014 Messier Marathons.

Be to sure to take a look at our total Messier Brochure And for more details, take a look at the SEDS Messier Database



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