Messier 14

Messier 14 is home to over 150,000 stars.


29,000 light-years

Apparent Magnitude




object type

Globular Cluster

The field is filled with orange, red, yellow, blue, and white stars. They appear as a spherical, dense mass that tapers out toward the edges of the image on a black background.
This image of M14 includes observations taken in ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared wavelengths of light. Astronomers used this data to better understand the formation and chemical makeup of different populations of stars that reside within this cluster.
NASA, ESA, and F. D'Antona (INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma); Image Processing: Gladys Kober

Discovered by Charles Messier in 1764, the globular cluster M14 is home to over 150,000 stars and has an apparent magnitude of 8.3. It is located 29,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Ophiuchus, and is best observed with a telescope during July.

side-by-side images of M14 seen from the ground (left) and by Hubble (right)
Because the stars are highly crowded in M14, the 1938 nova’s stellar neighborhood is extremely blurred when viewed from the ground (left). Hubble’s image (right) resolves individual stars in the nova’s suspected location. Presumably one of these stars is the source of the nova; though it is also possible that the nova-producing star is too faint to be seen.
NASA, ESA, and STScI; Ground Image: Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, Chile

In the summer of 1938, M14 played host to a nova – an extraordinarily rare event in a cluster of its kind. A nova is a sudden stellar eruption where, in just a few days, a star’s brightness increases by a factor of 10,000. Then over the following months the outburst fades away and the star returns to its normal brightness.

For more information about Hubble’s observations of M14, see:

Hubble view of M14
This image of M14 was assembled using both infrared and visible-light observations from Hubble. Its stair-step appearance results from the design of the camera used to take the exposures. The camera consisted of four light detectors, one of which provided a higher resolution but had a smaller field of view than the other three. Because the detector with the higher resolution did not cover as much area as the others, black regions are left around its image segment when the exposures from all four detectors are combined into one picture.
NASA, ESA, STScI and F. Ferraro (Universita di Bologna)
locator star chart for M14
This star chart for M14 represents the view from mid-northern latitudes for the given month and time.
Image courtesy of Stellarium

Explore Hubble's Messier Catalog

The following pages contain some of Hubble’s best images of Messier objects.

Bright green, orange, and yellow tendrils intertwined within this egg shaped nebula.

Messier 1 (The Crab Nebula)

Better known as the Crab Nebula, Charles Messier originally mistook Messier 1 for Halley’s Comet, which inspired him to create…

A Hubble image of a ball of thousands of stars

Messier 2

Hubble's image of Messier 2 is comprised of visible and infrared wavelengths of light.

Hubble view of M3 - a ball of thousands of stars.

Messier 3

Messier 3 holds more than 500,000 stars.