Astrophotography by Anthony Ayiomamitis

Deep Sky Object Image Gallery

Open star clusters are widely distributed in our galaxy and represent a loose collection of stars which number from a few dozen to a few hundred stars and are weakly-held gravitationally. Perhaps the three most famous such open clusters are the Pleiades (M45) in Taurus, the Beehive (M44) in Cancer and the double cluster in Perseus. They are all characterized with a handful of hot and white prominent stars and nebular material surrounding these stars.

Note: Collinder 399 in Vulpecula is a large asterism comprised of approximately 40 member stars with an apparent diameter of 90 arc-minutes. The asterism is best known for the appearance of an upside-down coat hanger formation thanks to the eight or nine brightest member stars. There exists some confusion as to whether this collection of stars is an open cluster or simply an asterism. The cluster was first observed by Al-Sufi in 964 AD and was never assigned an NGC designation perhaps owing to its large apparent diameter. Lying at a distance of 420 light-years away, the asterism is best observed using a pair of binoculars during late summer and early fall when the constellation of Vulpecula is high overhead following the end of astro twilight.

Please click on the image below to display in higher resolution (1200 x 900)

Image Details
Cr 399 - Open Cluster in Vulpecula
Imaging Details
Collinder Number:
399

Common Name(s):
Brocchi's Cluster
Al Sufi's Cluster
The Coathanger Cluster


Other Designations:
OCL 113, Lund 890

Object Type:
Open Cluster

Object Classif:
III 3 m

Constellation:
Vulpecula

RA / Dec:
19h 26m 18s /
20 07' 56"


Distance:
420 light-yrs

Object Size:
90' x 60'

Magnitude:
3.6
Date:
Jul 19-20, 2012
22:35 - 01:35 UT+3


Location:
Athens, Greece

Equipment:
Takahashi FSQ-106/f5
AP 1200GTO GEM
SBIG ST-10XME
SBIG CFW10
SBIG LRGB filters


Integrations:
Lum :  030 min (30 x 1 min)
Red :  042 min (07 x 6 min)
Green :  042 min (07 x 6 min)
Blue :  042 min (07 x 6 min)
Binning :  1x1 (Lum),  1x1 (RGB)

Image Scale:
2.65" per pixel

Temperatures:
Ambient : + 22.0 C
CCD Chip : - 15.0 C

Software:
CCDSoft V5.00.201
CCDStack V1.6.0.5
eXcalibrator V1.0.3.0
Aladin V6
Photoshop CS5