Category Archives: Messier Objects

Messier 36 Open Cluster in the Constellation Auriga

Messier 36 (M36 or NGC 1960) lies at a distance of about 4,100 light years away from Earth and is about 14 light years across. There are at least sixty members in the cluster. The cluster is very similar to the Pleiades cluster (M45), and if it were the same distance from Earth it would be of similar magnitude.

Tech Specs: Meade 12” LX90, Celestron CGEM-DX mount, Canon 6D stock camera, Antares Focal Reducer, ISO 3200, 13 x 60 seconds using Backyard EOS with darks and bias frames, guided using an Orion 60mm guide scope with an attached ZWO ASI290MC camera. Image Date: December 14, 2017. Location: The Dark Side Observatory in Weatherly, PA.

…Tom

ARP 37 (Messier 77) in the Constellation Cetus

Messier 77, also known as ARP 37 (#37 in Arp’s Catalog Of Peculiar Galaxies and NGC 1068 in the New General Catalogue) is a barred spiral galaxy about 47 million light-years away in the constellation Cetus. M77 is the first galaxy in the Arp catalog listed as a low surface brightness galaxy with companions on the arms.

ARP 37 (Messier 77) in the Constellation Cetus

The second image has been over processed in an attempt to bring out additional details in the arms of the galaxy – you can see some of the bright condensation areas around the core.

ARP 37 (Messier 77) in the Constellation Cetus

Tech Specs: Meade 12” LX90, Celestron CGEM-DX mount, Canon 6D stock camera, ISO 3200, 88 x 60 seconds using Backyard EOS with darks and bias frames, guided using a Canon 100mm lens with an attached ZWO ASI290MC camera. Image Date: November 20+21, 2017. Location: The Dark Side Observatory in Weatherly, PA.

Some additional info:

…Tom

Messier 2 (M2) – Globular Cluster in Aquarius

Here is a view of Messier 2 (M2), a bright globular cluster in the constellation Aquarius. M2 is about 37,500 light-years away and is one of the older globs in the Milky Way.

Messier 2 (M2) – Globular Cluster in Aquarius

Tech Specs: Meade 12” LX90, Celestron CGEM-DX mount, Canon 6D stock camera, ISO 2500, 16 x 60 seconds using Backyard EOS, 3 x 60 sec darks and 3 x 1/4000 sec bias frames, guided using a Canon 100mm lens with an attached ZWO ASI290MC camera. Image Date: October 17, 2017. Location: The Dark Side Observatory in Weatherly, PA.

Clear skies!

…Tom

Open Cluster Messier 39 (M39) or NGC 7092

Here is view of the open cluster M39 located in the northern section of the constellation Cygnus. There are about 30 members in this cluster and it is about 800 light years distant. Best viewed with a wide angle lens.

Tech Specs: Canon 6D, Canon 400mm + Canon 2x Extender III, piggy-back mounted on my main scope, guided using a Canon 100mm lens and ASI290MC camera. Celestron CGEM-DX mount, 8 x 60 seconds at ISO 1600. Software: Backyard EOS, DeepSkyStacker, Adobe Lightroom. Date: September 8, 2017. Location: The Dark Side Observatory, Weatherly, PA.

Additional information:

…Tom

Globular Cluster Messier 71 (M71) in Sagitta

Sagitta is a small constellation found between the bright stars Vega and Altair. The name is Latin for arrow and represents the weapon that Hercules used to kill the eagle (Aquila). There is one nice Messier object contained in this constellation, the globular cluster designated as M71. The famous Dumbbell Nebula lies nearby, but it lies just over the border in the constellation Vulpecula.

M71 is about 12,000 light years away from Earth and is about 27 light years across. Up until the 1970’s this cluster was designated as a densely packed open cluster because of the loose central region, today it is designated as a loosely concentrated globular cluster with a young age of 9-10 billion years.

Globular Cluster Messier 71 (M71) in Sagitta

Tech Specs: Meade 12” LX90, Celestron CGEM-DX mount, Canon 6D stock camera, ISO 1600, 17 x 60 second exposures using Backyard EOS, 3 x 60 sec darks and 3 x 1/4000 sec bias frames, guided using a Canon 100mm lens with an attached ZWO ASI290MC camera. Image Date: September 9, 2017. Location: The Dark Side Observatory in Weatherly, PA.

Clear skies!

…Tom

 

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