Open Cluster in Scutum
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This is one of the richest open clusters in the
sky. An early astronomer, Smyth,
likened its appearance to a flock of wild ducks in flight. Through binoculars or a small telescope,
it does have a wedge-shaped appearance, but with larger telescopes (and in this
photograph) the center of the cluster gets filled with dimmer stars and the
wedge is not very obvious anymore. Messier 11 is located on the edge of the Scutum Star
Cloud, a very dense section of the Milky Way, and a wide-field view of M11 and its surroundings gives a good idea of the star density.
|Distance (light yrs)
|Field of View
||29' x 22'
Image details: Exposure times of 39 minutes luminance and 18 minutes each of red, green, and blue, taken with an SBIG ST-8300M imager and a 14" Meade LX850 telescope at f/6.