Category: Open cluster

NGC6871 Open Cluster

NGC6871 is an open cluster located in Cygnus, has less than 50 stars and it is 5135 light-years from Earth. Constellation Cygnus is visually located on the galactic disk of the Milky Way; therefore there are many stars in the background. Particularly interesting are the dark nebulae, surrounding the cluster.

Picture was taken under dark skies of Milos Island and in total, it’s an integration of on 63 minutes.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length660 mm
MountiOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingQHYCCD miniGuideScope 130 mm f/4.3, ZWO 174 MM
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure21x180s, Gain 134, bin 1x1,
Date2018-09-15

M45 Pleiades

Messier 45, sometimes called Seven Sister, Pleiades or Subaru, is an open cluster located in constellation Taurus. The cluster contains many hot blue stars and it’s characterized by reflection nebulosity. The cluster is easily visible by naked eye and therefore it has been used in mythology of many cultures around the world.

The picture was created by stacking of 80 pictures with total integration time 4 hours. In order to capture the nebulosity properly, the light pollution should be minimal, which I manage to experience during our trip to Milos Island. Unfortunately, the mount was not cooperating and in declination axis occurred oscillations due to backlash. Therefore the stars are bit oval. Maybe it’s time to upgrade the mount and pick something backlash free. I would select something portable like Astrotrac 360 or Avalon Instruments M-Zero.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length660 mm
MountiOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingQHYCCD miniGuideScope 130 mm f/4.3, ZWO 174 MM
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure60x180s, Gain 134, bin 1x1,
Date2018-09-15

 


M23 Open Cluster

Messier 23 is an open cluster located in constellation Sagittarius not far from the star Polis (µ Sgr). Visually it’s surrounded in rich star field, because in this direction are located star clouds of Milky Way. The cluster contains approximately 150 confirmed members and it’s about 2000 light-years away from the Solar System.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length660 mm
MountiOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingQHYCCD miniGuideScope 130 mm f/4.3, ZWO 174 MM
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure23x120s, Gain 134, bin 1x1,
Date2018-09-13

M20 Trifid Nebula M21 Open Cluster

Messier 20 (called Trifid Nebula) has been captured by me already on Gavdos. This year I had a telescope with shorter focal length, therefore I managed to capture two objects of Messier’s catalogue on one shot. Specifically it’s mentioned Trifid Nebula and M21 Open Cluster (down left from the nebula). The nebula has been already described in my previous post and it’s located not far from M8 Lagoon nebula. The cluster M21 contains approximately 60 stars and it’s characterized by quite dense core, where the distance between neighboring stars is only one light-year.

The picture was taken under dark skies of Milos Island and it’s an integration of only 54 minutes of exposure time.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length660 mm
MountiOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingQHYCCD miniGuideScope 130 mm f/4.3, ZWO 174 MM
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure18x180s, Gain 134, bin 1x1,
Date2018-09-13

M25 Open Cluster

Messier 25 is an open cluster in constellation Sagittarius. It’s approximately 2000 light-years from Earth and it contains 50 brighter star and probably few tens of dimmer stars. The background in illuminated by many stars, because this cluster is located in direction of the galactic center of the Milky Way.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length660 mm
MountiOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingQHYCCD miniGuideScope 130 mm f/4.3, ZWO 174 MM
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure21x180s, Gain 134, bin 1x1,
Date2018-09-10

M17 Omega Nebula M18 Open Cluster

Due to moderate focal length of my telescope (660 mm) I managed to capture two Messier’s object in one shot. Specifically it was Omega nebula M17 (on the right) and open cluster M18 (on the left). I already captured Omega nebula some time ago, but due to its very low declination, the picture was not that nice. I was really happy that I got the opportunity on island Milos to capture it again. The cluster M18 is approximately 4200 light-years away from Earth and it has diameter 17 light-years.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length660 mm
MountiOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingQHYCCD miniGuideScope 130 mm f/4.3, ZWO 174 MM
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure37x180s, Gain 134, bin 1x1,
Date2018-09-06

M24 Sagittarius Star Cloud

Messier 24, also called Small Sagittarius Star Cluster, is a giant cloud of stars and open star clusters. In fact, M24 is not gravitational bonded object, but it is only spiral arm of Milky Way galaxy. The light coming from the cloud is partially blocked by two prominent dark nebulae. The cloud is literally surrounded by Messier objects. In north-east direction can be located Omega Nebula M17 and  open cluster M18, just 3° direction north open cluster M25 can be seen, 5° direction west open cluster M23, 6° south-west nebulae M20 Trifid and M8 Lagoon nebula.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length660 mm
MountiOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingQHYCCD miniGuideScope 130 mm f/4.3, ZWO 174 MM
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure27x180s, Gain 134, bin 1x1,
Date2018-09-05

M7 Ptolemy Cluster

Similar to M6, there is another bright open cluster in constellation Scorpius called Ptolemy Cluster or Messier 7. The cluster was discovered very long time ago (130 BC) by Greek astronomer Klaudios Ptolemaios. It belongs to one of the brightest and the biggest star clusters, which are visible by naked eye, but not from Central and Northern Europe.  The open cluster M7 consists of several hundreds of blue stars and it’s approximately 1000 light-year away from Solar System. The background illuminates our home galaxy Milky Way.

To capture this cluster was quite tricky. First two attempts were interrupted by windy and cloudy weather. During the third one I managed to expose 17x 120s and 8x 180s, i.e. 58 minutest in total.

Technical details:

Telescope:Newton 150/600 mm
Aperture:150 mm
Focal length:660 mm
MountiOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingQHYCCD miniGuideScope 130 mm f/4.3, ZWO 174 MM
Camera:ZWO 071 Pro @-10C
Corrector:Explore Scientific HR coma corrector
Filters:Astronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure17x120s, 8x180s, Gain 134, bin 1x1,
Date:2018-09-04

M6 Butterfly cluster

M6 is an open cluster located in constellation Scorpius. Visually it’s located not far from horizon, at least from Central Europe; therefore it’s hard to capture this deep space object. The observing/capturing conditions change significantly if you travel to Southern Europe. From there the cluster is visible by naked eye. The stars from similar shape to butterfly, therefore  it got its name. On the bottom side of the cluster is nicely visible red giant (orange star) called BM Scorpii. The background illuminates the Milky Way.

The picture was taken during chasing darkness on Greek island Milos and in total was taken 30 pictures having exposure 180 seconds, i.e. total 90 minutes of integration.

Technical details:

Telescope:Newton 150/600 mm
Aperture:150 mm
Focal length:660 mm
MountiOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingQHYCCD miniGuideScope 130 mm f/4.3, ZWO 174 MM
Camera:ZWO 071 Pro @-10C
Corrector:Explore Scientific HR coma corrector
Filters:Astronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure30x180s, Gain 134, bin 1x1,
Date:2018-09-03

 


M50 Open cluster

M50 is an open cluster located in constellation Monoceros, visually not far from the brightest star Sirius. It was catalogued by Charles Messier in 1772 and it’s approximately 3000 light-years away from Earth. The latest research was conducted in 2012 and confirmed that the cluster contains 508 stars – you can try to count them.

Technical details

Telescope:Newton 254/1000 mm
Aperture:254 mm
Focal length:1000 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
Camera:ZWO ASI071MC Pro
Corrector:GPU
Filters:UV IR cut
Exposure:25xRGB
Date:2018-03-21

M26 Open cluster

Recently I purchased new travel telescope, the mount and the camera and I decided to make small comparison with my primary equipment. New equipment consist of iOptron CEM25P mount, which is very portable equatorial mount and small (6”) Ritchey–Chrétien telescope. Even the camera is new. ZWO 1600 MC has only 400 grams compared to the old Mii G2, which has 2.5 kg. The reason is that ZWO is color version without filter wheel, therefore narrow band imaging is not possible, but I will use this camera mainly under the darks skies. Detailed review of the portable setup will follow.

Back to the picture, I pointed the telescopes into the constellation Scutum and captured open cluster M26. This cluster is approximately 180 million years old and the light travelled 5400 years from there into my telescopes. The cluster is located in the plane of our home galaxy Milky Way; therefore there are so many stars in the background.

The upper picture was made by my primary setup – Gemini G35f, astrograph Newtonian 254/1000 with GPU coma corrector and MII G2 8300 camera. The lower picture is the outcome of the new setup: iOptron CEM25P, 154/1370 mm RC telescope with focal reducer Astro Physics CCDT67 and ZWO 1600 MC camera.

Technical details

Telescope:Newton 254/1000 mm
RC 154/1370
Aperture:254 mm
154 mm
Focal length:1000 mm
917 mm
MountGemini G53f
iOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingTS 60 mm, FL240 mm, ZWO 174 MM
Camera:Moravian instruments G2 8300M @-30C
ZWO 1600 MC @ -15C
Corrector:GPU
Astro Physics CCDT67
Filters:Baader RGB
Exposure:10xL 180s bin 1x1, 8xRGB 120s bin2x2
28x 120s Gain 300
Date:2017-08-30

NGC6604 Open cluster

NGC6604 is an open cluster associated with nebulosity. It is located not far from my favorite Eagle nebula in constellation Serpens and it’s 5500 light-years far from the Earth. Since this deep space object is not that high on the skies, I rather used narrow band filters, because this part of the skies is strongly influenced by the light pollution, which is coming from the nearest town. First picture is processed in “fake” Hubble color palette, the second one should more or less look like in “true” color.


M48 Open Cluster

M48 is an open cluster discovered by Charles Messier in 1771. The cluster is located in constellation Hydra and it’s 1500 light-years far from the Earth. This cluster can be observed even by small binocular, but small telescope reveals more than 50 stars. During waiting for Sombrero galaxy I pointed my telescope just below bright star Procyon and collected some light coming from this cluster.


M44 Beehive Cluster

Beehive cluster is an open cluster located in constellation Cancer. Because of its relatively “short” distance to the Solar system (600 Light years), it didn’t fit fully into the field of view of my telescope. The cluster has approximately 1000 stars and even two planets were discovered there.


NGC7380 Wizard nebula

Wizard nebula is an open cluster associated with nebulosity.  Visually, it has apparent size of the full Moon, but since it’s very far from the Earth (7200 light years), its real diameter is about 100 light years.

So, where is the wizard located? It took me a while to find him, but if you turn your head 90° counter-clockwise, you see two darker hands. It looks like he is trying to grab something. Then above the hands you see the wizard’s conical hat.

First picture is a composition of 3 narrow band pictures (Ha, OIII and SII) and composed in Hubble Space Telescope palette. Second one is more-or less visible spectrum.

ngc7380-wizard-2016-10-06-30c-600s-32x-haoiiisii-fl1000-dbe-proc ngc7380-wizard-2016-10-06-30c-600s-32x-haoiiisii-fl1000-dbe-rgbeq


M39 Open cluster

My god, it is full of stars! I think everybody knows this sentence and if not, you should watch probably the best movie from Stanley Kubrick 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Anyway, my reaction when I processed this image was the same just like David Bowman, when he was traveling through the star gate created by the monolith orbiting the Jupiter. The reason why there are so many stars in the background is simple. M39 is an open cluster located in not far from constellation Cygnus (Swan). This constellation is lying on the plane of our home galaxy Milky Way, therefore we are now looking through the galactic disk.

m39-opencluster-2016-09-29-30c-31l-200s-13rgb-120sb2x2-fl1000


M29 Open Cluster

M29 is an open cluster located in constellation Cygnus (Swan) and it’s approximately 6000 light-years from the Earth. It can be observed even by the binoculars or small telescope.


M52 Open cluster

M52 open cluster was discovered catalogued by Charles Messier in 1774, from there stands the “M” letter. It’s located in constellation Cassiopeia and it’s visible even by small binocular.

m52-opencluster-2016-09-28-30c-12l-180s-8rgb-120sb2x2-fl1000


M11 Wild Duck Cluster

Wild Duck Cluster is one of the biggest known open star cluster. It’s located in constellation Aquila (Eagle), it contains approximately 2900 stars (you can count them on the picture) and it’s very far – 5500 light years from the Solar system. The name “Wild Duck” comes from the observation of Admiral Smyth – he saw wedge-shape group of stars. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see any V-shape formation, maybe Admiral Smyth was observing during very cold night and tried to warm up by grog or something.

M11 Wild Duck Cluster


M45 Pleiades

Probably the most famous open cluster, visible by naked eyes is called Pleiades, Subaru or Seven Sisters. Charles Messier cataloged this DSO under number 45 (M45). This cluster is located in constellation Taurus. It’s the closest cluster to the Solar system (430 light years), has 8 light year in diameter and it’s characterized by the nebulosity – reflective illumination of the space dust by the blue light of the hot, young stars. The brightest stars have names: Alcyone, Atlas, Electra, Maia, Merope, Taygeta, Pleione, Celaeno and Sterope.

M45 Pleiades