Thursday, 22 November 2018 17:16

Messier 52

Messier 52 is an open cluster located in Cassiopeia. It contains around 193 members. Its estimated distance is between between 3,000 and 7,000 light years. The differences in distances are due to a large amount of interstellar dust in that direction that varies the brightness by an unknown amount.

Published in Open Clusters
Thursday, 22 November 2018 17:06

M 45 Pleiades 2018

Messier 45 or as it is often called, The Pleiades. The name is possibly derived from ancient Greek word "plein" meaning to sail. It is often called the Seven Sisters as the brightest stars are named for the Greek mythological sisters of Atlas and Pleione, Alcyone, Electra, Maia, Merope, Taygeta, Celaeno, and Asterope or Sterope.

The reflection nebula around the cluster was originally thought to be left over dust from the clusters formation, but due to the age of the cluster, that nebulosity would have been dispersed. It seems it is just passing through an dusty region.

The cluster is an estimated 444 light years away, contains over 1,000 members and a large number of brown dwarf objects. Like most clusters, it will slowly disperse over millions of years. The cluster's age is estimated to be between 75 and 150 million years old.

Published in Open Clusters
Friday, 02 November 2018 12:14

NGC 752

NGC 752 is an open cluster of stars located in Andromeda. Consisting of around 60 members is located 1,300 light years away. Many distant galaxies are scattered through out the the image.

Published in Open Clusters
Wednesday, 31 October 2018 13:08

Messier 39

Open cluster nestled against the background star field of Cygnus. The cluster is composed of about 30 members and is located approximately 1,060 light years away. Estimated age is 278 million years.

Imaged with the ED80cft refractor and Zwo1600 mono camera.

Published in Open Clusters
Thursday, 18 October 2018 13:19

Stock 2

North of the Double Cluster is a sparse open cluster called Stock 2, or sometimes called the Muscle Man Cluster. It is said to resemble a stick man figure flexing their biceps. It contains some 50 stars and is located around 1,000 light years distant.

Imaged with the ED80cft refractor and ZWO 1600 mono camera.

Published in Open Clusters
Thursday, 30 August 2018 23:19

NGC 663

A young open cluster located in Cassiopeia, estimated to contain about 400 members. The cluster contains at least 24 Be type stars which are B class stores that show distinctive hydrogen lines in their spectra and at least five blue stragglers. Also visible are two red super giant stars. Imaged with the ES 127 refractor and Atik 314l+ mono ccd.

Published in Open Clusters
Thursday, 05 July 2018 15:29

Counting Stars in Messier 24

Messier 24 or sometimes called the Small Sagittarius Star Cloud is one of the densest concentrations of stars visible in low power optical instruments. The dense concentration of stars as visible due to a lack of dust obscuring the Milky Way in this area.

This image includes the open cluster NGC 6603 just above the center, and several dark nebula that blot out the stars on the right side of the image. The star cloud lies at a distance of 10,000 to 16,000 light years from us.

Published in Galaxies
Friday, 22 June 2018 16:14

Open Cluster NGC 6866

NGC 6866 is an open cluster located in Cygnus. Caroline Herschel is credited with it's discovery. The blue stars really stand out, and you can just start to see the of a reddish glow of interstellar gas and dust that permeates this area of the sky.

It shows up in the field of view of my photo-metric observations of Kic 8462852, so while waiting for my next target I used the ES127 refractor to take some R/G/B images of it. At least one of the stars is a short term variable star.

Published in Open Clusters
Thursday, 27 July 2017 23:29

Messier 26

Messier 26 is an open cluster located in the constellation of Scutum. The cluster contains around 90 stars, with an estimated age of 89 million years. Distance to the cluster is 5,000 light years.

Imaged with the RC10 and Zwo 1600 camera.

Published in Open Clusters
Thursday, 30 November 2017 22:45

Messier 39

Messier 39 is an open cluster located in Cygnus. It contains an estimated 30 members and an age of approximately 200 - 300 million years. A wide and loose cluster with a starry background.

Imaged with the ED80CFT refractor and ZWO1600 mono camera.

Published in Open Clusters
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