Catching Light

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Dan Lessmann

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Brocchi's Cluster

Click image for larger version.

 

This open cluster is also known as the "Coat Hanger Cluster" because of the pattern made by the stars within the cluster.  This cluster contains only a couple of dozen stars and is most likely not a true cluster but merely a line of sight cluster.  This means the stars, while close together from our point of view are actually at substantially different distances.

 

This cluster is located in Vulpecula (the constellation of the fox) and is comparatively large at about 1 1/4 degrees across.  Its member stars are also quite bright ranging from magnitudes of about 5.1 to 6.8.  This makes this cluster a favorite for those that use "binos-on-a-stick" as my fellow OKCAC member, Glen Kilgour likes to call them.

 

This image has been modified just a bit in Photoshop with a touch of an artificial fog filter effect on the stars that make up the coat hanger profile to make them easier to pick out of the crowds.  The image has also been rotated 180 degrees so north is down in this view.

 

Date:  7/18/06

Location:  Home

Telescope:  Sigma 135-400 telephoto, f/5.6

Mount:  LXD55

Camera:  Hutech Modified Canon 350D, ISO 800

Exposure Count:  59 x 30 seconds, 29.5 minutes total exposure.

Guiding:  None

Post Processing:

ImagesPlus:  Dark and flat calibration, align and combine, digital development

Photoshop CS2:  Smart sharpen, levels adjustment, duplicate image, apply Gaussian blur for fog filter effect, select blurred bright stars of cluster with 10 pixel feather copy and paste to new level in original.  Adjust opacity of new level.

NeatImage:  Noise reduction

Last Updated: 11/12/2014  -  Copyright 2004-2013 by Dan Lessmann.  All rights reserved.  Please click here for my usage policy.