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M38 and NGC 1907

M38 and NGC 1907 - Open Clusters in Auriga

Open cluster M38, which is shown on the left side of this image, is one of the three larger clusters of stars in the constellation Auriga which also includes M36 and M37. This particular object is considered an intermediately rich open cluster of stars, each of which is estimated to be 200 million years old. Located in the disk of our Milkyway galaxy, M38 is still young enough to contain many hot blue stars, although its brightest star is a yellow giant shining more than 900 times brighter than our own Sun. M38 spans roughly 25 light years across and is located approximately 4000 light years from Earth.

The smaller open cluster to the right in this image is NGC 1907. This cluster is older than M38 and is estimated to be nearly 500 million years old. It contains approximately 30 stars and is located about 4,500 light years from Earth.

Image Specifications:

     •  Instrument:  Takahashi FS-102 Refractor (820mm - f/8) with 0.8x Televue reducer
     •  Camera:  Canon 20Da
     •  Filters:  Hutech IDAS LPS (Light Pollution)
     •  Mount:  Losmandy GM-8 Equatorial
     •  Guiding:  SBIG STV Autoguider with Vixen 400mm Guidescope
     •  Time / Date :  January 10, 2007, 8:00PM EST
     •  Location:  Coyle Field, NJ
     •  Weather:  Clear, 25degF
     •  Primary Exposure :  13 x 2min, ISO 1600, RAW, average combined
     •  Calibration Frames:  7 x 2min, ISO 1600, RAW, average combined, no flats
     •  Image Processing :  Images Plus, Photoshop CS2