Alt. Designations: NGC 6715
Object Type: Globular Cluster
Constellation: Sagittarius
Distance: 87.4 kly
Right Ascension: 18h 55m 03.3s
Declination: -30° 28´ 40"
Visual Magnitude: 7.7
Apparent Dimension: 12.0´ Dia.
Best Month To View: Jun

Located in the constellation of Sagittarius is a globular cluster known as M54. It is one of the brighter globular clusters in the sky. This object's close proximity to Zeta Sagittarii, the southernmost star in the constellation, makes it very easy to find. Although this cluster is bright, it is small. It could be mistaken for a star in binoculars. A telescope is really the best way to view this fine object. M54 is estimated to be about 60,000 light-years from Earth. Some controversy has recently surfaced about this cluster. Some astronomers believe that it may not be a part of our galaxy at all, but of a newly discovered dwarf galaxy. If this turns out to be true, its distance from Earth could be as much as 80,000 light-years. It would also be the first extragalactic globular cluster to ever be discovered.