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Open Clusters

PINE MOUNTAIN OBSERVATORY
Astrophotography with 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope (SCT) “piggybacked” on PMO’s 24-inch telescope.
Open star clusters are relatively young (millions of years to about a billion years old) groups of stars, typically containing a few hundred visible stars, formed from nebulas in the spiral arms of our galaxy. Most of the ones we can see are between a few hundred and a few thousand light years away.
M11 Wild Duck Cluster

M11 Wild Duck Cluster

Double cluster in Perseus

Double cluster in Perseus

Famous star clusters: The “Wild Duck” (M11) star cluster on the left, and the “Double Cluster” in Perseus on the right. “M” refers to the French astronomer Messier, who cataloged approximately 100 fuzzy-looking objects that weren’t comets, back in the 1700s. (Star clusters often look fuzzy in small telescopes.)
M35 star cluster

M35 star cluster

M36 star cluster

M36 star cluster

M37 star cluster

M37 star cluster

M38 star cluster

M38 star cluster

Four “rich” open star clusters in the constellations of Gemini and Auriga: M35, M36, M37 and M38.
M41 star cluster

M41 star cluster

M46 star cluster

M46 star cluster

M47 star cluster

M47 star cluster

M48 star cluster

M48 star cluster

Winter Milky Way: Four more “rich” open star clusters in the winter Milky Way near Orion and Canis Major: M41, M46, M47 and M48. Note that M46 also contains a planetary nebula.
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