July 2022 - Picture of the Month
The Great Peacock Globular (NGC 6752) in Pavo
We're still down in the southern hemisphere, but we've moved about 20 degrees north this month to find another fine globular cluster. In fact it's the fourth brightest in the sky, so I couldn't overlook NGC 6752 since it's peak observing season for this object, and Mariusz happens to have recently captured this wonderful image.
NGC 6752 is not only brighter, by nearly five magnitudes, than IC 4499 from last month but it also displays a condensed core, being classified as Shapley–Sawyer VI. It's also much closer to us at 13,000 light-years (4 kpc). Hubble has also imaged this globular, whilst surveying white dwarves, and discovered a galaxy hidden behind it.
As well as a spectacular imaging target, NGC 6752 is unlikely to pose problems for visual observers either: it's apparently a naked eye object and I expect it looks fabulous in binoculars or a telescope.
Unfortunately for me, southern observers have a virtual monopoly on those four bright globulars: from the UK Messier 22 scrapes the horizon this month in Sagittarius, and the others are only visible from much further south. I hope they appreciate them 😉
James Whinfrey - Website Administrator.