Saturday 17 October 2020

Astrognome 100 Great Stars No 43, 47 Tucanae


47 Tucanae

A globular cluster in the constellation of Tucana the Toucan a southern hemisphere constellation. It can be seen with the naked eye as a magnitude 4.1 object. It lies at a distance of 13,000 light years and is 120 light years across. It is the 2nd brightest globular in the sky after omega cenaturi, 47 Tuc contains millions of stars.

It was first seen by the French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1751 while he was observing the sky from South Africa. However it was the German astronomer Johann Elert Bode who gave it the number 47 in his star catalogue published in 1801.

There have been surveys by the Hubble Space Telescope to look for planets orbiting stars, but none have been found yet. There are however 100s of x ray sources in 47 Tuc and some astronomers believe that there is a black hole in the centre of the cluster. This has been reinforced by astronomers who in 2017 may have located a massive black hole in the cluster.

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