Messier 2 or M2 (also designated NGC 7089) is a globular cluster in the constellation Aquarius, five degrees north of the star Beta Aquarii. It contains about 150,000 stars, including 21 known variable stars. Its brightest stars are red and yellow giants. The overall spectral type is F4.

M2 by Hubble Space Telescope; 3.5′ view
Credit: NASA/STScI/WikiSky
Observation data (J2000 epoch)
Right ascension21h 33m 27s[1]
Declination-00° 49′ 24″[1]
Distance37.5 kly (11.5 kpc)
Apparent magnitude (V)+6.3[1]
Apparent dimensions (V)16′.0
Physical characteristics
Masskg ( M)
Radius87.3 ly [2]
Estimated age13 Gyr
Other designationsNGC 7089[1]

Under extremely good conditions, it is just visible to the naked eye. Binoculars or small telescopes will identify this cluster as non-stellar, while larger telescopes will resolve individual stars, of which the brightest are of apparent magnitude 13.1. It is about 37,500 light-years away from Earth. At 175 light-years in diameter, it is one of the larger globular clusters known. The cluster is rich and compact.

M2 was discovered by the French astronomer Jean-Dominique Maraldi in 1746 while observing a comet with Jacques Cassini. Charles Messier rediscovered it in 1760 but thought it a nebula without any stars associated with it. William Herschel was the first to resolve individual stars in the cluster, in 1794.

M2 from 2MASS sky survey

External links


  1. a b c d "SIMBAD Astronomical Database". Results for NGC 7089. Retrieved 2006-11-15.
  2. distance × sin( diameter_angle / 2 ) = 87.3 ly. radius