Open Cluster Messier 25

Messier 25
Messier 25: 30' x 30' section from STScI Digitized Sky Survey (POSS2 Red) [160]


This open star cluster is located about 3.5° east of M 24 and was discovered by the Swiss astronomer Philippe de Chéseaux in 1745. Charles Messier rediscovered it on 20 June 1764 and included it as number 25 in his list of nebulous objects in order to avoid confusion with comets. In 1896 it was discovered again by Solon Bailey and later added to the index catalog by Dreyer as IC 4725. [196]

Physical Properties

M 25 is a loose star cluster, a bright but not particularly rich collection of about 50 stars brighter than magnitude 12 and a few dozen weaker stars. Due to an error, the star cluster was not listed in John Herschel's «General Catalogue» of 1864, was also forgotten by J. L. E. Dreyer in his "New General Catalog" and was finally included in the «Index Catalogue» in 1908 under the number IC 4725. The distance is given as 620 parsecs (2022 light years). [4, 145]

An unusual member is hidden in M ​​25: U Sagittarii is a bright, classic Cepheid variable, first noticed by J. Schmidt in 1866. According to studies by J. B. Irwin in 1955, the affiliation of the star to the star cluster appears to be fairly certain. U Sagittarii is a normal Cepheid with a magnitude of 6.3 mag to 7.1 mag and a period of 6.77925 days. The spectral range extends from F5 to approximately G1. Cepheids are very rarely found in star clusters. As with all Cepheids, the color of the light becomes more yellowish when the brightness goes towards a minimum. U Sagittarii is also a visual double star. The 9.5 mag bright companion star is located at a distance of 66.5 "at a position angle of 253°. The distance between the two stars is estimated at around 40'000 AU. The weaker star is in turn accompanied by a companion with 10.1 mag at a distance of 0.7 arc seconds (430 AU) circled to a position angle of 122°. The last distance measurement from 2018 is 684 pc ± 21 pc. (2231 ly ± 68 ly) [4, 145]

Revised+Historic NGC/IC, Version 22/9, © Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
DesignationIC 4725
TypeOCL (I2p)
Right Ascension18h 31m 45.0s
Declination-19° 07' 12"
Diameter26 arcmin
Visual magnitude4.6 mag
Metric Distance0.620 kpc
Dreyer DescriptionCl, pC
Identification, RemarksM 25, OCL 38, ESO 591-SC6

Finder Chart

The open star cluster M 25 is located in the constellation Sagittarius, around 3° west of the Small Sagittarius Cloud (M 24). Connect the stars Kaus Borealis (λ Sagittarii) and γ Scuti. Place the Telrad halfway one degree west of it, so that the middle Telrad circle comes to rest on the line. The outer Telrad circle then lies roughly on the line of the three stars π - ξ - μ Sagitarii.

Chart Open Cluster Messier 25
Open Cluster Messier 25 in constellation Sagittarius. Chart created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. [149, 160]

More Objects Nearby (±15°)


4«Burnham's Celestial Handbook: An Observer's Guide to the Universe Beyond the Solar System» by Robert Burnham; Dover Publications, Inc.; Voume I: ISBN 0-486-23567-X; Volume II: ISBN 0-486-23568-8; Volume III: ISBN 0-486-23673-0
145SIMBAD astronomical database;
149SkySafari 6 Pro, Simulation Curriculum;
160The STScI Digitized Sky Survey;
196Celestial Atlas by Curtney Seligman; (2020-12-28)
277«Historische Deep-Sky Kataloge» von Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke; (2021-02-17)