Brocchi’s Cluster

Back in July, I described my beginning efforts to capture the night sky and how I “discovered” this interesting formation of stars in a wide field image taken with my camera. It has gotten to the point where if this is in the field of any image, it jumps right out at me.

But in wide field images, it is a very small object and I wanted a better photo of it. So utilizing the Takahashi 106mm Imaging Platform at the New Mexico Skies Observatory in Mayhill, NM, I captured this close-up.

The bright formation, referred to as an “asterism”, is superimposed over a background starfield of thousands of distant stars.

The main bright stars of the cluster, also known as “The Coathanger” are mostly luminous blue stars with a couple of red “giants” to fill it out. Conflicting studies over the years have tried to determine this was a true cluster or just a chance alignment of stars. The most recent studies have concluded that it is the latter, based on parallax and proper motion measurements from the Hipparcos satellite.

For more information visit “Brocchi’s Cluster” on Wikipedia.

~ by Rsmith on November 1, 2020.

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