Tonight's Sky
Sun
Sun
Moon
Moon
Mercury
Mercury
Venus
Venus
Mars
Mars
Jupiter
Jupiter
Saturn
Saturn

Tonight's Sky — Change location

OR

Searching...

Tonight's Sky — Select location

Tonight's Sky — Enter coordinates

° '
° '

Demystifying Messier 24

M24 is often misidentified as NGC 6603, but don’t let that stop you from seeking out this superb nebulosity.
ChapleGlenn

In the summer of 1764, the French comet hunter Charles Messier came upon a nebulous object “near the extremity of the bow of Sagittarius, in the Milky Way.” He went on to describe it as “a considerable nebulosity, of about one degree and a half extension: In that nebulosity there are several stars of different magnitudes; the light which is between these stars is divided in several parts.” It was recorded as the 24th entry in his catalog of nebulous objects.

Messier 24 (M24), visible to the unaided eye and three Full Moon diameters in length, was one of the last members of the Messier catalog that I officially notched. Why? It all has to do with resources that misidentified it as NGC 6603.

Astronomy magazine subscribers can read the full article for free. Just make sure you're registered with the website.

Already a subscriber? Register now!

Registration is FREE and takes only a few seconds to complete. If you are already registered on Astronomy.com, please log in below.
ADVERTISEMENT

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Receive news, sky-event information, observing tips, and more from Astronomy's weekly email newsletter. View our Privacy Policy.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
RCLP_ASY_WorldEnd_rightrail

Click here to receive a FREE e-Guide exclusively from Astronomy magazine.

Find us on Facebook