Messier 3

Messier 3
NGC 5272
M3LRGB 891x674.jpg
Observation data (J2000 epoch)
Class VI
Constellation Canes Venatici
Right ascension 13h 42m 11.23s[1]
Declination 28° 22′ 31.6″[1]
Distance 33.9 kly (10.4 kpc)
Apparent magnitude (V) +6.2[1]
Apparent dimensions (V) 18′.0
Physical characteristics
Mass 245,000 M (4.87 x 1035 kg)
Radius 90 ly
Estimated age 8 x 109 years
Other designations NGC 5272[1]
See also: Globular cluster, List of globular clusters

Messier 3 (also known as M3 or NGC 5272) is a globular cluster in the constellation Canes Venatici. It was discovered by Charles Messier in 1764, and resolved into stars by William Herschel around 1784. This cluster is one of the largest and brightest, and is made up of around 500,000 stars. It is located at a distance of about 33,900 light-years away from Earth. M3 has an apparent magnitude of 6.2,[1] making it a difficult naked eye target even with dark conditions. With a moderate-sized telescope, the cluster is fully defined. It is estimated to be 8 billion years old. It is pretty difficult to spot this object in an amateur telescope without GoTo as it has no nearby pointer stars; though it is almost exactly halfway between and on a line connecting Cor Caroli with Arcturus.

Arcturus can be used to help locate M3
Messier 3 with amateur telescope

External links


  1. ^ a b c d e "Messier 3". SIMBAD Astronomical Database. Retrieved 2006-11-15. 

Coordinates: Sky map 13h 42m 11.23s, +28° 22′ 31.6″

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