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M72 - Globular Cluster in Aquarius | Astrophotography Pictures and Tips

Messier 72 is a globular cluster located very close to another Messier object, M73. The cluster can be found in the constellation Aquarius approximately 54,570 light-years away.

Object Designation: M72, NGC 6981

Constellation: Aquarius

Object Type: Globular Cluster

Distance: 54,570 light-years

Magnitude: 9.3

Discovery: Pierre Méchain in 1780

M72 is bright but small, and is best captured with a large telescope. Being in Aquarius, M72, along with M73 which can be imaged in the same field of view with most setups, The pair is a good Summer astrophotography target.


M72 Astrophotography with a RASA 8 and Color Camera

September 2023

We shot M72 and M73 at the same time for 10 hours total using our fast RASA 8 f/2 telescope under the Bortle 2 skies of Utah Desert Remote Observatories.

The M72 cluster and the M73 asterism are so close to each other that it just makes sense to get them both in one go. one time as they both are very close to one another. We did 300-second exposures and, after 10 hours, hoped to see some IFN in the area which we did once the data was stacked!