Open cluster M41

Posted by stardoctor
on Thursday, March 5, 2009

Four degrees below the brightest star in the sky, Sirius, the 100 stars of Open Cluster M41 fill the view of a wide-field telescopic eyepiece.  At a distance of 2300 light years, most of its stars are blue-white, but a few  red giant stars provide a variety of color both visually and photographically.  At an age of around 200 million years, it is a mature cluster, as most open clusters will eventually disperse due to interactions with other galactic stars and giant molecular clouds. 

This image combined 10 minutes of red, 8 minutes green and 12 minutes of blue exposures, all unbinned.  An ST10XME camera was used through a TEC140 refractor and an AP reducer at the Hidden Lake Observatory. 

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