|Rektascenzija||21 : 30.0 (u:m)
|Deklinacija||+12 : 10 (sto:m)
|Razdalja||32.6 (*1000 sv.l.)
|Vizual. magnituda||6.2 (mag)
|Zorni kot||12.3 (loc min)
This cluster has the third rank in known variable star population, after M3 and Omega Centauri, a total of 112 variables have been identified. One of them is apparently a Cepheid of Type II (a W Virginis star).
M15 is perhaps the densest of all (globular) star clusters in our Milky Way galaxy. The Hubble Space Telescope has photographically resolved its superdense core, as shown in this HST image. M15's core has undergone a process of contraction called "core collapse", which is common in the dynamical evolution of globulars; of the 147 known globular cluster within our Milky Way Galaxy according to W.E. Harris' database, 21 have been found to contain a collapsed core (among them, besides M15, the Messier globulars M30 and M70), and ther are 8 more candidates, among them M62. It is still unclear if the central core of M15 is packed so dense simply because of the mutual gravitational interaction of the stars it is made of, or if it houses a dense, supermassive object, which would be resembling the supermassive objects in galactic nuclei. The one in M15 would among the nearest and better observable to us, being only little more remote than the Galactic Center and much less obscured by interstellar matter. Although the true nature of these objects remains obscure for the moment, many scientists believe they are strong candidates for "Black Holes".
M15 was the first globular cluster in which a planetary nebula, Pease 1 or K 648 ("K" for "Kuster"), could be identified (Pease 1928, on photographic plates taken at Mt. Wilson in 1927). Leos Ondra has provided more information on this planetary nebula. In 1976 Peterson has reported a possible second planetary nebula in this globular, situated near its center, which was however never confirmed since (thanks to Leos Ondra for pointing out this fact).
Moreover, globular cluster M15 contains the considerable number of 9 known
pulsars, neutron stars which are the remnants of ancient supernova explosions
from the time when the cluster was young. These have the designations
PSR 2127+11, as well as PSR 2127+11 A to 2127+11 H. The most interesting of
these objects is PSR 2127+11 C, which is apparently a component of a neutron
star binary, i.e. it has a companion which is also a neutron star
(S.B. Anderson et.al., Nature 346:42 (1990),
T.A. Prince et.al., ApJL 374:L41 (1991)).
This system, like similar ones such as the famous Hulse-Taylor binary pulsar
PSR 1913+16, or the lone-standing galactic binary pulsar PSR 1534+12, is of
particular interest because they exhibit strong general-relatistic gravitational
effects (and is thus a natural laboratory to test Einstein's General Relativity
Theory) such as significant perihelion shifts, effects on light, and emission
of gravitaional radiation. The latter effect, the emission of gravitational
radiation, carries away rotational energy and causes a slowdown of the
pulsar frequency as well as of the orbital period.