Messier Objects

M56: Globular Star Cluster (Lyra) RA: 19h 16.6m / DEC: +30° 11'.1
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder

Lyra is best known as the home of the Ring Nebula, M57, arguably the most-observed planetary nebula in the sky. However, a fine globular star cluster resides just about 6 degrees east-southeast of the Ring. That cluster is M56 and you'll find it halfway between 3.3 magnitude Sulaphat, Gamma Lyrae, and the fine double star, Albireo. My sketch shows a patchy central core, 4'x2' in size, with several 13th and 14th magnitude stars resolved. The core is nestled within a 6' diameter glow salted with a smattering of 14th magnitude stars. This cluster stands magnification quite well and the view does not degrade much under a magnification producing a 1-mm exit pupil in moderate and large aperture telescopes. My sketch is based on a 129X view in the 10-inch Starfinder Newtonian.

M55 M57-Ring Nebula


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Revised: February 14, 2002 [WDF]