NGC 6871 - open cluster in Cygnus

Posted by ayiomamitis
on Monday, July 26, 2010
by Anthony Ayiomamitis

Open cluster NGC 6871 in Cygnus depicted above is a cluster comprised of less than 50 member stars which are interspersed and well detached from the background sky. The cluster is dominated by a pair of double star systems comprised of SAO 69402 (mag 6.77) and SAO 69403 (mag 7.36) for the northern pair and SAO 69405 (mag 7.86) and SAO 69404 (mag 8.86) which make up the southern pair. The cluster spans 20 arc-minutes in diameter and lies 5135 light-years away. NGC 6871 has been studied fairly intensely owing, in part, to the presence of eclipsing binaries (ex. V453 Cyg). Its distance has been estimated to be around 5135 light-years while its age is a mere 9.1 million years old. NGC 6871 is surrounded by nebulosity including LBN 180 to the north, LBN 182 to the east and LBN 179 and 174 to the south and southwest. The small patch of nebulosity near the bottom right corner is the nebula GN 20.03.0. The cluster is best observed using low magnifications (50-100x) during summer when it is directly overhead and can be found to lie just to the south of 27-Cyg (mag 5.38). NGC 6871 was discovered by Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve (1793-1864) in 1825.

Technical Details:
Date: July 11, 2010 @ 02:35 - 4:40 UT+3
Location: Athens, Greece (38.2997° N, 23.7430° E)
Equipment: AP 160 f/7.5 StarFire EDF, AP 1200GTO GEM, SBIG ST-10XME, SBIG CFW10, SBIG LRGB filters
Integrations: LRGB @ 30:30:30:30 using 3-/6-min subs, 1x1 binning, 1.17"/pixel, -12.5d C

Further details are available here.

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