|Right Ascension||17 : 01.2 (h:m)
|Declination||-30 : 07 (deg:m)
|Visual Brightness||6.5 (mag)
|Apparent Dimension||14.1 (arc min)
Discovered 1771 by Charles Messier.
M62 is one of the most irregular shaped globular clusters, as was first reported by Herschel. This deformation may be a result of the fact that M62 is one of the closest of Messier's globulars to the Galactic center (only about 6100 light years), so that it is deformed by tidal forces. Its central condensation is obviously displaced from the center, to the lower right in our image (SE).
From its apparent size and magnitude, M62 is very similar to its neighbor, M19, which may be a bit modified for the intrinsic values as their distance may be different: M62 at 22,500, M19 at 28,400 light years are the values in Harris' database. Also, M62 has the large number of 89 known variables (number of 1973 !), most of them of RR Lyrae type, while M19 has only 4. Moreover, contrary to M19, the core of M62 is extremely dense and has possibly undergone a core collapse somewhen in its history, similar to a number of other globulars including M15, M30, and M70.
Messier found this cluster in 1771, but took an acurate position only at 1779, so that his entry had this date. Otherwise it would have come between the numbers 49 and 50.
Last Modification: 9 Dec 1999, 22:58 MET