Messier Objects

M24 "Milky Way Star Cloud": Open Star Cluster (Sagittarius) RA: 18h 18.5m / DEC: -18° 24'.0
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder

The summer Milky Way from a dark sky site is one of the true joys of amateur astronomy. You don't need a telescope or even binoculars to enjoy the view. The majestic band of light produced by the disk stars of our home galaxy runs from horizon to horizon and is best enjoyed with the unaided eye. A small bright patch in northern Sagittarius stands out from the others. This is the Milky Way Star Cloud, M24. You might mistake it for a large comet. However, a telescope reveals a swarm of stars. My sketch captures M24 at 36X in my Starfinder 10-inch Newtonian. About 40 stars from 7th to 12th magnitude are visible amongst hundreds of faint flickers. The appearance is that of a river of light passing through the starry sky. You'll find M24 about 3 degrees north-northeast of 3.8 magnitude Mu Sagittarii.

M23 M25


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Revised: February 10, 2002 [WDF]