M14 (NGC 6202)

M14 (NGC 6202) is found midway between beta and nu Ophiuchi, and slightly to the west: binoculars. The brightest star here, 47 Ophiuchi, is ten degrees south-southwest of beta.

M14 is a globular cluster whose brightest stars are fourteenth magnitude, creating an apparent magnitude of 7.6. It requires at least a medium-sized telescope to resolve its members; the larger the better, and you may be rewarded with what John Herschel called a "most beautiful and delicate globular cluster, not very bright, but of the finest star dust, all well resolved, and excessively rich" (quoting Burnham, p1263). Some observers report that the centre has a distinctly orange hue, while the outer regions are more of a pale yellow.

M14 is only one of two clusters in which novae have appeared; this was in 1938 (M80 in Scorpius had one in 1860); the nova of M14 was not discovered for another 26 years after an examination of old photographic plates. The remnants of the nova were never found despite a number of searches.

Return now to the west, first to the region of M10 and M12 and then two fields and a bit more southwest to delta and epsilon Ophiuchi.

Click on delta to continue.

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1999-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.