Catching Light

Photography by

Dan Lessmann

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M35 is a big and beautiful open cluster at the foot of Castor in the constellation Gemini.   With about 120 member stars, M35 covers an area of about 120 light years or about 1/2 degree and is about 2,200 light years distant. 


Though beautiful on its own, one of the most appealing aspects of this cluster is not the cluster itself but comparison of this cluster with its neighbor, the open cluster NGC 2158.  This cluster is quite a bit more distant (about six times further away) than M35 making it appear much more compact and smaller than M35.  It is also dimmer of course but shows up well visually in 10" aperture or so telescopes.  In this image, NGC 2158 has been separately enhanced to be better seen with M35. 


The two clusters are essentially the same in actual size and composition giving a real feel for the three dimensional aspect of space that is often overlooked during observations of single objects.


A narrower field version of M35's central concentration can be found here which highlights the red giants within the cluster.


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Date:  1/7/2008

Location:  Home

Telescope:  Orion 80ED

Mount:  Losmandy GM-8

Camera:  Hutech 350D @ ISO 800, IDAS LPS filter

Exposure Count:  29 @ 90 seconds, 43.5 minutes total exposure.

Guiding:  ST-402ME through Canon EF 200mm F/2.8 L II

Post Processing:

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

Photoshop CS2:  Smart sharpen, levels, secondary enhancements

NeatImage:  Noise reduction

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