Location of Photo:
Sliding Springs Observatory, NSW, Australia, remotely via itelescope.net from La Jolla, CA, USA.
Date/Time of photo:
January 27, 2017, at 0300 local time
Takahashi 90 mm wide field color refractor and imaging system.
This spectacular globular cluster of stars is Omega Centauri, NGC 5139, imaged remotely from the Sliding Springs Observatory in New South Wales, Australia, via iTelescope.net 3 nights ago. I was in my living room in La Jolla, and it was daytime, the major advantage of remote astronomy. Located at a distance of 15,800 light-years, it is the largest globular cluster in the Milky Way at a diameter of roughly 150 light-years. It is estimated to contain approximately 10 million stars and a total mass equivalent to 4 million solar masses. It is one of the few globular clusters visible to the naked eye, and appears almost as large as the full Moon when seen from a dark, rural area, but, of course, to see it, you must be in the Southern Hemisphere.