Click on image for larger version.

This ball of 500,000 stars is approximately 100 light years across. From a galactic perspective, this cluster is passing over our heads (galactic north) and is one of the first bright clusters to become available before the others closer to the galactic center. Some people believe that this cluster inspired Charles Messier to begin systematically recording the location of deep sky objects that through his telescope appeared as nebulous. Charles Messier was interested in finding comets and considered this non-comet fuzzies to be a bit of a distraction. Even with modest equipment today- the true nature of these objects are easily revealed.


20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/8
Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount
SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

L R G B color production was used to create this image.

Luminance = 20 minutes binned 1x1
Red = 5 minutes binned 1x1
Green = 5 minutes binned 1x1
Blue = 5 minutes binned 1x1

  • Digital Development (DDP) via Maxim/DL was also used in order to display the the very dim and very bright details of the image simultaneously.

  • Minimum credit line: (top image)Elliot Gellman and Duke Creighton/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF
    (bottom image) Bill Uminski and Cyndi Kristopeit/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF

    RETURN to the STAR CLUSTERS page.

    BACK to main Best of AOP page.

    Would you like to take images like this? Click here.

    [NOAO logo] Return to NOAO Home Page

    Updated: 01/05/2005