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

Object TypeGlobular cluster
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 - July 2017

The Planets
This Month's Guide

Algol Minima
Algol eclipse dates and times for July

Meteor Shower
Southern Delta Aquariids (Aquarids) meteor shower peaks on July 29

Northern Hemisphere
West:- Mercury (mag. -0.5 to +0.3) (second half of month)
Southwest:- Jupiter (mag. -2.0)
South:- Saturn (mag. +0.2)
West:- Jupiter
South:- Saturn
East:- Neptune (mag. +7.8)
Southwest:- Saturn
South:- Neptune
Southeast:- Uranus (mag. +5.8)
East:- Venus (mag. -4.1)

Southern Hemisphere
West:- Mercury (second half of month)
Northwest:- Jupiter
East:- Saturn
West:- Jupiter
North:- Saturn
East:- Neptune
West:- Saturn
North:- Neptune
Northeast:- Venus, Uranus

Deep Sky

Small telescopes:-
Messier 13 - M13 - Great Hercules Globular Cluster
Messier 92 - M92 - Globular Cluster
Messier 11 - M11 - The Wild Duck Cluster (Open Cluster)
Messier 7 - M7 - The Ptolemy Cluster (Open Cluster)
Messier 6 - M6 - The Butterfly Cluster (Open Cluster)
Messier 4 - M4 - Globular Cluster
Messier 8 - M8 - Lagoon Nebula (Emission Nebula)
Messier 16 - M16 - Eagle Nebula (Emission Nebula with Open Cluster)
Messier 20 - M20 - Trifid Nebula (Emission and Reflection Nebula)

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