The Leisurely Scientist

Posted August 16, 2018

LATEST ASTRONOMICAL IMAGE - Globular Cluster Messier 12 in the Constellation Ophiuchus

Messier 12 (M12 or NGC 6218 in the New General Catalog) is a globular cluster in the constellation Ophiuchus. Through my online research I also found that this cluster is referred to as the “Gumball Globular”, that’s a new one for me. It was discovered in 1764 by the French astronomer Charles Messier who described it as a “nebula without stars”. M12 is approximately 15,700 light-years distant. You will definitely need binoculars or a small telescope to see this cluster. This cluster contains about 200,000 stars, the brightest of them are about 12th magnitude.
Tech Specs: Sky-Watcher Esprit 120mm ED Triplet APO Refractor, Celestron CGEM-DX mount, Canon 6D stock camera, ISO 3200, 13 x 60 second exposures with dark/bias frames, guided using a ZWO ASI290MC and Orion 60mm guide scope. Image date: June 14, 2018. Location: The Dark Side Observatory, Weatherly, PA, USA.

Greetings, and welcome to Leisurely Scientist! My name is Tom Wildoner, I have loved the science field, particularly the "Natural Sciences" since I was a child (a long time ago). This photo blog is my attempt to share science through photographs and also to help me organize my work. My interests are wide and include astrophotography, bird and nature photography, landscapes, waterfalls, macrophotography, and more. I hope to share some science information through my photography. I will try and explain processing techniques, equipment setup, and more. I hope you enjoy yourself here and put some of what you learn use. Comments and questions are always appreciated!

You can find me on TWITTER as @tdsobservatory, my image portfolio is available on FLICKR, and I post on REDDIT as leisurelyscientist and on Google+ as Thomas Wildoner. I also post images on my Facebook account at

My images have been used on UNIVERSE TODAY, EARTHSKY, The Washington Post, Sky and Telescope, Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation, Earth Science Picture of the Day (EPOD), Amateur Astronomy Picture of the Day and numerous online media outlets and E-Magazines. I have a liberal policy regarding my images, they can be shared as long as credit is given for the image and the image is not edited in any way.

I also manage the Dark Side Observatory in Weatherly, Pennsylvania. The observatory can also be followed on FACEBOOK at

Wishing you clear skies!


Online References:

A short video showing the construction of the Dark Side Observatory from the design to first light.