M57 and M39

Oct 4, 2006
Chicago, IL
I have not posted a lot of astro photos recently - but someone encourage me to post these. These were all taken with an un-modified D5300 on my LX200 8" telescope. M57 was 15 x 360 second exposures and M39 was 10 x 360 second exposures. Comments welcome.

1. The first one is M57. This is a planetary nebula in the northern constellation of Lyra just south of Vega the brightest star in summer sky - well at least in the northern hemisphere (part of summer triangle).The size of the nebula is 1.5 x 1 arc minutes (the moon is about 31 arc minutes wide) and is 2,750 light years from earth. It was discovered by Charles Messier in 1779. The ring of gas has been calculated to be expanding at 1 arc second every century.... so come back in a few million years and it will be larger

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2. Not all objects in the universe are nebula or galaxies, some are open cluster of stars. This is Messier 39 is an open cluster in the constellation Cygnus (The Swan). Its visual size is about that of the moon's - 29 arc minutes - and is over 824 light years from us. There are about 30 stars that make up the cluster. I don't want to alarm anyone, but it is moving towards us at about 28 km/second....

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