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Open Cluster in Scutum

Messier 11 is a very rich and impressive open cluster known as the Wild Duck Cluster. This image, taken with a telephoto lens, shows that M11 is situated in front of a very dense region of the Milky Way. To its west (right) is the Scutum Star Cloud, one of the brightest portions of the Miky Way. Several dark nebulae, which block the view of the stars behind them, are visible both above and below M11.

Magnitude 5.8
Apparent Size 14'
Distance (light yrs) 5,500
Right Ascension 18:51.1
Declination -6 16
Field of View 2.2° x 1.6°

Image details:  Exposure times of 24 minutes luminance and 12 minutes each of red, green and blue, taken with an SBIG 8300M imager and a Tokina 500 mm lens.

October 2013