Open cluster in Perseus

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This bright open cluster is a nice object for binoculars or a small telescope. The cluster contains about 10 or 15 fairly bright stars and many dimmer ones. Most of the dimmer stars in this image are part of the Milky Way background. At a distance of about 1500 light years, Messier 34 is a fairly close open cluster.

Taking a picutre of even a familar celestial object can result in something unexpected. In the case, a close look shows several tiny (and therefore very distant) galaxies. They are much easier to seen the the larger version of this image.

Magnitude 5.2
Apparent Size 25'
Distance (light yrs) 1,450
Right Ascension 2:42.0
Declination +42 47
Field of View 34' x 25'

Image details:  Exposure times of 45 minutes luminance and 21 minutes each of red, green, and blue, taken with an SBIG ST-8300M imager and a 14" Meade LX850 telescope at f/5.2.

November 2016