Astrophotography by Anthony Ayiomamitis

Deep Sky Object Image Gallery

Open star clusters are widely distributed in the universe and represent a loose collection of stars which number from a few dozen to a few hundred stars. 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 open star cluster M29, discovered by Messier and catalogued on July 29, 1764, consists of seven bright members whose shape crudely resemble the Pleiades (M45) and/or the Big Dipper where four of the members form a rectangle and the other three form an arm to one side. This cluster lies in the very rich constellation of Cygnus and, therefore, has the rich Milky Way as background. Estimates with respect to its distance vary from 4000 to 7200 light years and its age has been estimated at a relatively young 10 million years. The brightest members of the cluster (spectral class B0) have been determined to be 160,000 times brighter than our sun!

The cluster is best observed using low-powers during late summer and early fall when it is directly overhead. It lies less than two degrees from the bright binary star system -Cyg (aka Sadr, mag 2.2) but may be a challenging object to locate due to the rich surrounding Milky Way (interstellar dust is believed to mitigate the overall brightness of this open cluster). The region is extremely rich in emission nebulosity and as indicated by the image below.

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

Image Details
M29 - Open Cluster in Cygnus
Imaging Details
NGC Number:

Common Name(s):

Other Designations:
Cr 422, OCL 168

Object Type:
Open Cluster

Object Classif:
II 3 m n


RA / Dec:
20h 23m 58s /
38 30' 28"

4000 - 7200 ly

Object Size:
7 ' x 7 '

July 09, 2011
02:05 - 04:30 UT+3

Athens, Greece

AP 305/f3.8 Riccardi-Honders
SBIG LRGB filters

Lum :  030 min (30 x 01 min)
Red :  030 min (10 x 03 min)
Green :  030 min (10 x 03 min)
Blue :  030 min (10 x 03 min)
Binning :  1x1 (Lum),  1x1 (RGB)

Image Scale:
1.25" per pixel

Ambient : + 23.0 C
CCD Chip : - 15.0 C

CCDSoft V5.00.201
CCDStack V1.6.0.5
eXcalibrator V1.0.4.0
Aladin V6
Photoshop CS2