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: The impressive open cluster NGC 957 in Perseus is comprised of 30-40 member stars predominantly of magnitude 10-11 and is well-detached from the background sky. The cluster is characterized with an apparent diameter of eleven arc-minutes, lies at a distance of 5,920 light-years away and is quite young with an estimated age of only 11.0 million years old. The cluster is quite easy to locate using low-power magnifications during late fall and winter owing to its brightness and proximity by less than two degrees to the Perseus Double Cluster. NGC 957 was discovered by William Herschel in 1831.

Please click on the image below to display in higher resolution (1200 x 950)

Image Details
NGC 957 - Open Cluster in Perseus
Imaging Details
NGC Number:
957

Common Name(s):
N/A

Other Designations:
Cr 28, OCL 362

Object Type:
Open Cluster

Object Classif:
III 2 m

Constellation:
Perseus

RA / Dec:
02h 33m 24s /
57 33' 29"


Distance:
5,920 light-yrs

Object Size:
11' x 11'

Magnitude:
7.6
Date:
Nov 04-05, 2008
23:20 - 01:25 UT+2


Location:
Athens, Greece

Equipment:
AP 160 f/7.5 StarFire EDF
AP 1200GTO GEM
SBIG ST-2000XM
SBIG CFW10
SBIG LRGB + IR-block


Integrations:
Lum :  030 min (10 x 3 min)
Red :  030 min (05 x 6 min)
Green :  030 min (05 x 6 min)
Blue :  030 min (05 x 6 min)
Dark :  135 min (15 x 3+6 min)
Flat :  ~ 17,000 ADU
Binning :  1x1 (Lum),  1x1 (RGB)

Temperatures:
Ambient : + 18.0 C
CCD Chip : - 15.0 C

Software:
CCDSoft V5.00.188
AIP4Win V2.2.0
CCDStack V1.3.7
Photoshop CS2