Best of AOP - Star Clusters

M24, NGC 6590, and IC1284:
The Sagittarius Star Cloud

An image like this shows that our galaxy is always "partly cloudy." Not unlike Earthly clouds that block parts of the sky (say on a starry night), tremendous clouds of gas and dust obscure the things that are beyond them. However, breaks in these galactic clouds can also be seen, even towards the densest part of our galaxy. M24 is the large oval collection of bluish stars that stands out among the others in the right of this picture. To look at this stellar association of young and bright stars is to peer through a break in the obscuring clouds to places much deeper towards an inner spiral arm. The stars of M24 are many thousands of light years away (perhaps 10,000). The northern part of this star cloud boasts several dark nebula that provides contrast for all of the stars in the background. Near the right of the frame, IC 1284 glows bright red, while NGC 6590 scatters bluish light around a few bright stars.

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Last Updated: 25-Jun-2014

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About This Image

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76mm Televue (480mm f/6.3 refractor)

SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

LRGB color production was used to create this image.

The image above is a three frame mosaic. The exposure information refers to each frame.

Luminance = 15 minutes binned 1x1

Red = 15 minutes binned 1x1

Green = 15 minutes binned 1x1

Blue = 15 minutes binned 1x1

Minimum credit line: Fred Calvert/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF