M72 (NGC 6981)

M72 (NGC 6981)

Image credit: NOAO/AURA/NSF.

M72 (NGC 6981) is a globular cluster in the constellation Aquarius. It was discovered by Pierre Méchain on 29 August 29 1780. M72 is one of the more remote globulars included in the Messier Catalogue, lying at a distance from the Sun of about 53,000 light-years. It lacks a compact core but is one of the most intrinsically bright objects of its type known.


visual magnitude 9.3
angular size 6.6'
linear diameter 106 light-years
distance ~53,000 light-years (16,000 pc)
position RA 20h 53m 27.9,
Dec -12° 32' 13.4"
other designations GCl 118, C 2050-127