Alt. Designations: NGC 6994
Object Type: Open Cluster
Constellation: Aquarius
Distance: 2.5 kly
Right Ascension: 20h 58m 56.0s
Declination: -12° 38´ 07"
Visual Magnitude: 9
Apparent Dimension: 1.4´ Dia.
Best Month To View: Aug

Another interesting object to be found in Aquarius is M73. This object is unlike most of Messier's other discoveries. M73 is a small cluster of four stars. It is officially classified as an asterism. An asterism is a star pattern, and is different from a constellation. For example, the big dipper is an asterism within the constellation of Ursa Major. M73 may appear as a nebula at first glance with small instruments. Some astronomers believe this object to be a true star cluster, but there is little evidence at this time to support that claim. M73 is easily visible in binoculars, but it takes a telescope to resolve the individual stars in the formation.