M19 is a magnitude +7.2 globular cluster visible with binoculars that's located in the constellation of Ophiuchus. It's an intrinsically large object, which is highly oblate in appearance, loosely packed and partly resolvable using medium sized amateur telescopes. The cluster was discovered on June 5, 1764 by Charles Messier and first resolved into stars by William Herschel in 1784.

Finding M19 is easy as its positioned 8 degrees east of the brightest star in neighbouring Scorpius, Antares (α Sco; mag. +1.0). Located 4.5 degrees south of M19 is a slightly brighter Messier globular, M62 (mag. +6.8).

M19 is best seen from tropical and Southern Hemisphere latitudes during May, June and July. However, for northern temperate based observers it never rises particularly high above the southern horizon.

M19 globular cluster by the Hubble Space Telescope (credit:- NASA, The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI))

Finder Chart for M19 (credit:- freestarcharts)

Finder Chart for M19 - pdf format (credit:- freestarcharts)

Finder Chart for M6 (also shown M4, M7, M8, M19, M28, M62 and M69) (credit:- freestarcharts)

Finder Chart for M6 (also shown M4, M7, M8, M19, M28, M62 and M69) - pdf format (credit:- freestarcharts)

When viewed through binoculars, M19 appears stellar like with a hint of fuzziness. A small 80mm (3.1-inch) telescope reveals an obviously diffuse object without a well-defined centre. On nights of good seeing and transparency a 200mm (8-inch) scope, at medium to high magnifications, will resolve the outer edges of M19. The oval shape of the cluster is noticeable, with the long axis orientated in the north-south direction. When viewed through the largest of amateur scopes countless more stars are visible across the face of M19. Visually it spans about 8 to 10 arc minutes of apparent sky.

M19 is located 28,700 light-years from Earth. In total, the cluster has a diameter of 17 arc minutes, which corresponds to an intrinsic diameter of 140 light-years. The brightest individual stars in M19 are of 14th magnitude, although the cluster contains very few variable stars. To date, only four RR Lyrae stars have been discovered.

It's estimated that M19 is 11.9 billion years old.

M19 Data Table

Messier19
NGC6273
Object TypeGlobular cluster
ConstellationOphiuchus
Distance (light-years)28,700
Apparent Mag.+7.2
RA (J2000)17h 02m 38s
DEC (J2000)-26d 16m 05s
Apparent Size (arc mins)17 x 17
Radius (light-years)70
Age (years)11.9 Billion
Number of Stars300,000

Sky Highlights - March 2017

Comet
Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak now visible with binoculars as it heads towards perihelion

Mercury
Mercury heading towards greatest elongation east

Minor Planet
Vesta now visible with binoculars and small telescopes.

The Planets
This Month's Guide

Algol Minima
Algol eclipse dates and times for March 2017

Northern Hemisphere
Evening
West:- Venus (mag. -4.8 to -4.1 - first half of month), Mars (mag. +1.3 to +1.5), Uranus (mag. +5.9), Mercury (mag. -1.5 to -0.4 - second half of month)
Midnight
Southeast:- Jupiter (mag. -2.3 to -2.5)
Morning
Southwest:- Jupiter
Southeast:- Saturn (mag. +0.5)

Southern Hemisphere
Evening
West:- Venus (first half of month), Mars, Uranus
Midnight
North:- Jupiter
East:- Saturn
Morning
West:- Jupiter
Northeast:- Saturn
East:- Neptune (mag. +8.0 - second half of month)

Deep Sky
Naked eye / binoculars:-
Melotte 111 - Mel 111 - The Coma Star Cluster (Open Cluster)
Messier 44 - M44 - The Praesepe (Open Cluster)

Telescopes:-
Messier 67 - M67 - Open Cluster
Messier 51 - M51 - The Whirlpool Galaxy (Spiral Galaxy)
Messier 97 - M97 - The Owl Nebula (Planetary Nebula)
Messier 101 - M101 - The Pinwheel Galaxy (Spiral Galaxy)
Messier 65 – M65 – Spiral Galaxy
Messier 66 - M66 - Intermediate Spiral Galaxy
Messier 95 - M95 - Barred Spiral Galaxy
Messier 96 - M96 - Intermediate Spiral Galaxy
NGC 4244 - Spiral Galaxy
NGC 4565 - Needle Galaxy - Spiral Galaxy

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