Category: Open cluster

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.

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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.

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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.

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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


Open clusters

Open clusters are small groups of stars, which are bonded together by the gravitational forces. They contain significantly fewer members and are younger compared to globular clusters. Open clusters were probably formed from giant clouds of interstellar gas and dust. In many nebulae, the formation of new stars is still happening and we can witness the formation of new open clusters.


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