Messier 19

Messier 19 is one of several globular clusters found in the constellation Ophiuchus.


28,500 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 M19 includes Hubble observations taken in ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared wavelengths of light. A small gap in Hubble data (horizontal line at center right) is instead filled in with observations from the ground-based Victor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope. The Hubble proposal associated with this image sought to investigate M19’s formation and the ratios of different populations of stars within the cluster.
NASA, ESA, and C. Johnson (STScI); Image Processing: Gladys Kober

M19 was discovered by Charles Messier in 1764. The cluster is located 28,500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Ophiuchus and is most easily observed during July. It has an apparent magnitude of 7.7 and can be spotted through a pair of binoculars, though it will only appear as a faint patch of light. Large telescopes will resolve M19’s individual stars.

The stars in globular clusters orbit about a common center of gravity, so these clusters are usually spherical. Some globular clusters, like M19, have a slightly elongated shape. This cluster is only 6,500 light-years away from the center of our Milky Way galaxy, so the gravity and tidal forces from the massive galactic center could be causing M19 to stretch out.

Hubble view of M19
This Hubble image of M19 was created using observations of both visible and ultraviolet light. The image’s 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 were left when the image from all four detectors were combined into one picture.
NASA, ESA, STScI and I. King (University of California – Berkeley)
locator star chart for M19
This star chart for M19 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.