NGC 6402

NGC 6402

Messier 14
Class VIII[1]
Constellation Ophiuchus
Right ascension 17h 37m 36.15s[2]
Declination –03° 14′ 45.3″[2]
Distance 30.3 kly (9.3 kpc)[3]
Apparent magnitude (V) +8.32[2]
Apparent dimensions (V) 11.0′
Physical characteristics
Mass 1.04×106[3] M
Radius 50 ly[4]
Metallicity –1.28[3] dex
Other designations NGC 6402[2]
See also: Globular cluster, List of globular clusters

Messier 14 (also known as M14 or NGC 6402) is a globular cluster in the constellation Ophiuchus. It was discovered by Charles Messier in 1764.

At a distance of about 30,000 light-years, M14 contains several hundreds of thousands of stars. At an apparent magnitude +7.6 it can be easily observed with binoculars. Medium-sized telescopes will show some hint of the individual stars of which the brightest is of magnitude +14.

The total luminosity of M14 is in the order of 400,000 times that of the Sun corresponding to an absolute magnitude of -9.12. The shape of the cluster is decidedly elongated. M14 is about 100 light-years across.

A respectable total of 70 variable stars is known in M14, many of the W Virginis variety common in globular clusters. In 1938, a nova appeared although this was not discovered until photographic plates from that time were studied in 1964. It is estimated that the nova reached a maximum brightness of magnitude +9.2, over five times brighter than the brightest 'normal' star in the cluster.

Slightly over 3° southwest of M14 lies the faint globular cluster NGC 6366.


External links

  • SEDS Messier pages on M14
  • M14, Galactic Globular Clusters Database page
  • Messier 14 on Articles and images

, −03° 14′ 45.3″