Star cloud

Sagittarius Star Cloud

The Sagittarius Star Cloud (also known as Delle Caustiche, Messier 24, IC 4715) is a star cloud in the constellation of Sagittarius, approximately 600 light years wide, which was discovered by Charles Messier in 1764.

The stars, clusters and other objects comprising M24 are part of the Sagittarius or Sagittarius-Carina arms of the Galaxy. Messier described M24 as a "large nebulosity containing many stars" and gave its dimensions as being some 1.5° across, a description that fits the star cloud rather well. Some sources, improperly, identify M24 as the faint cluster NGC 6603.

M24 fills a space of significant volume to a depth of 10,000 to 16,000 light-years. This is the most dense concentration of individual stars visible using binoculars, with around 1,000 stars visible within a single field of view.

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