Tuesday, July 11, 2017

M24 - Sagittarius Star Cloud

I think M24 is the only Messier object that is considered a star cloud.  It is referred to as the Sagittarius Star Cloud and is in the constellation of Sagittarius. It is sometimes known as the Small Sagittarius Star Cloud to distinguish it from the Great Sagittarius Star Cloud located to the north of Gamma Sagittarii, however, at 600 light years wide it does not seem small.

It is comprised of stars, clusters and other objects which are part of the Sagittarius arms of the Milky Way galaxy.  M24 fills a space of significant volume to a depth of 10,000 to 16,000 light-years. This is the most dense concentration of individual stars visible using binoculars, with around 1,000 stars visible within a single field of view (source: wikipedia).

This is the 97th Messier object I have obtained for my catalog, only 13 more to go...

Location: Happy Frog Observatory, Monroe, CT
Date: 6-27-17
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i(a), Backyard EOS
Telescope: Orion ED80 80mm f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
Barlow: None
Focal Length: 600mm
Focal Reducer: Orion 0.8x Focal Reducer for Refractor Telescopes
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G GoTo Telescope Mount
Filter: Astrodon UV/IR
Autoguiding: QHY-5L-II-M attached to an Agena 50mm Guide Scope with Helical Focuser
Exposure: 24 x 90s
ISO: 1600
Temp: 20 C
Post Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop, Lightroom, Gradient Exterminator, Astronomy Tools, StarTools.

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