Our galactic journey took a slight detour from Ursa Major to observe these cosmic jewels in the constellation of Canes Venatici (the Running Dogs). Meet Messier 3 or M3, a globular cluster of stars centered some 32,600 light years away from Earth. M3 is made up of around 500,000 stars and is estimated to be 11.4 billion years old. The cluster was the first Messier object to be discovered Charles Messier himself in 1764. Messier originally catalogued this target as a nebula, but this was corrected 20 years later after William Herschel determined that it was a cluster of stars.
M3 captured with a 600mm astrograph.
Putting aside the technical bit, this target is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful targets in the night sky. The dense array of colorful stars in this cluster gives us yet another reason to look up and experience an amazing Universe!
Gear: AA Hypercam 26C, Askar 80 PHQ, HEM27 mount, Optolong CLS; ZWO OAG + 120mc
Exif: 34 x 5-min lights; Gain 200, Offset 3, TEC @ 10 degrees; 20 darks, 20 flats, 20 dark flats
SharpCap, PHD2; AstroPixelProcessor, PixInsight; Photoshop