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Messier 12 or M 12 (also designated NGC 6218) taken on June 7th 2015 is a globular cluster in the constellation of Ophiuchus. It was discovered by the French astronomer Charles Messier on May 30, 1764, who described it as a "nebula without stars". In dark conditions this cluster can be faintly seen with a pair of binoculars.
Located roughly 3° in the sky from the cluster M10 and 5.6° from the star Lambda Ophiuchi, M12 is about 15,700 light-years (4,800 parsecs) from Earth and has a spatial diameter of about 75 light-years. The brightest stars of M12 are of 12th magnitude. With a Shapley-Sawyer rating of IX, it is rather loosely packed for a globular and was once thought to be a tightly concentrated open cluster. Thirteen variable stars have been recorded in this cluster.