Credits: Keith Turnecliff, Long Itchington

Messier 73 (M73) is an asterism formed by four physically unrelated stars located in the southern constellation Aquarius. M73 has an apparent magnitude of 9 and lies at an approximate distance of 2,500 light years from Earth. It has the designation NGC 6994 in the New General Catalogue. The four stars that form the Y-shaped asterism only appear close to each other in the sky because they are located along the same line of sight when seen from Earth.

Facts about M73 by Keith Turnecliff

The stars of M73 are quite faint and not easy to observe in 10×50 binoculars. Larger binoculars will reveal a dim point of light, while a 4-inch telescope will show the Y shape clearly. The best time of year to observe M73 is during the summer.

This star chart represents the view from Long Itchington for mid September at 10pm.
Credits: Image courtesy of Starry Night Pro Plus 8, researched and implemented by Keith Turnecliff.