Asterism Messier 73

Messier 73
Messier 73: Section of the Sloan Digitized Sky Survey [147]


Charles Messier discovered M 73 on October 4th and 5th, 1780 and wrote: «Clusters of three or four small stars, which at first glance look like a nebula, contain some nebula: the cluster is on the parallel of the previous one [M 72]: the position was determined with the same star ν Aquarii.» [281]

Physical Properties

This is neither a real star cluster nor a multiple star system, but a random group of four stars of 10th to 12th magnitude, which, according to measurements by the Gaia space probe, over distances of 321 pc to 706 pc (1047 to 2303 light years) stand scattered. [145]

Revised+Historic NGC/IC, Version 22/9, © Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
DesignationNGC 6994
Right Ascension20h 58m 56.0s
Declination-12° 38' 00"
Diameter1.4 arcmin
Visual magnitude8.9 mag
Dreyer DescriptionCl, eP, vlC, no neb
Identification, RemarksM 73, OCL 89

Finder Chart

M 73 is located in the constellation Aquarius (Aquarius). It is best to look for M 72 first. About 1° 20' east of it is M 73. The best observation time is August to October.

Chart Asterism Messier 73
Asterism Messier 73 in constellation Aquarius. Chart created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. [149, 160]

More Objects Nearby (±15°)


145SIMBAD astronomical database;
147Aladin Lite; (2020-12-23)
149SkySafari 6 Pro, Simulation Curriculum;
160The STScI Digitized Sky Survey;
277«Historische Deep-Sky Kataloge» von Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke; (2021-02-17)
281«Catalogue Nébuleuses et des Amas D'Étoiles» Observées à Paris, par M. Messier, à l'Observatoire de la Marine, hôtel de Clugni, rue des Mathurins. «Connoissance des temps ou connoissance des mouvements célestes, pour l'année bissextile 1784 » Page 227; (2021-02-21)