Credits: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI)
Messier 70 (M70) is a globular cluster located inside the Teapot asterism in the southern constellation Sagittarius.
The cluster has an apparent magnitude of 9.06 and lies at a distance of 29,400 light years from Earth. It has the designation NGC 6681 in the New General Catalogue.
In binoculars, M70 appears like an out-of-focus star and is best observed with a telescope. Individual stars in the cluster can only be resolved with large amateur telescopes, but even small ones will reveal a distinctly non-stellar object, with a bright core inside a fuzzy ball of light. 10-inch telescopes will resolve the stars in the outer regions of the cluster.
The cluster appears considerably smaller when observed with amateur telescopes because its bright centre is only about 4 arc minutes in diameter. The cluster is moving away from us at an approximate velocity of 200 km/s. Its estimated age is 12.8 billion years.
Facts about M70 by Keith Turnecliff
The best time of year to observe M70 is during the months of June, July and August, but it can be a difficult target for northern observers because it never rises high above the southern horizon.