M7 “The Scorpion’s Tail”


While I was out with the scope last Friday night.One of the objects that I observed and imaged was M007.With a name that has that James Bondish ring to it,I certainly found it to be ellusive due to the fact that it is quite low in the southern horizon from my perspective.I have a mountain to contend with but still I would estimate that it was 30 degrees+- above the horizon.This open cluster which is also known as Ptolemy’s Cluster lies some 800-1000 light years away and shines at a  visual mag of 3.3 under dark skies.Ptolemy a.k.a Claudius Ptolemaeus Pelusiniensis was a greek astronomer who lived and worked in Alexandria, Egypt at around 85-165 AD.He described M7  as the “nebula following the sting of Scorpius.”Hence the constellation name of Scorpius!.M7 contains approximately 80 stars of visual mag10+ and is approching us at about 14 Km/second.Not to worry though,it won’t reach us for MANY Millons of years!.My first thought when seeing it through the scope was how much it looked like the Pleiades!.

Information credit:seds.lpl.arizona.edu

Image credit:Andrew

The Scorpions Tail

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4 Responses to “M7 “The Scorpion’s Tail””

  1. Hey, cool pic 🙂

    I must add that Ptolemaus (Πτολεμαίος In Greek) placed the Earth in the center of the Universe (a model that survived for more than 1,900 years) and contributed to the revolution of Arabian astronomy 🙂

    (my first thought was that it looks like Pleiades too!)

  2. Thanks m13,
    In a astronomical time line ,1900 years is less than a blink of an eye.Just imagine what we will learn and where we will have gone in another 1900 years!.
    The only thing that M7 is missing is the nebulosity!.
    Andrew

  3. Andrew,
    I happy to see one of us is getting some observation time. Great pics as always!

  4. Hi Michael,
    Yeah,one of these days I am going to have to drag you away from your work and we will put in a serious night of imaging.Dark skies would be a novelty!!!:).

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