Thursday, August 9, 2012

M 52 an open cluster but how far is it?

M 52
3x5 minute exposure, Stromgren y
© Billy Vazquez
M 52 discovered by Messier in 1774 is shown here in an unguided co-added 3x5 minutes Stromgren y filtered exposures.   This image is part of a battery of tests I am excercising on the observatory in preparation for a a new science run that will use Stromgren filters for stellar and luminosity classification.   I am glad to report that the Stromgren y filter which peaks exactly where the Johnson V filter does, is performing well in initial tests.   It is also an opportuinity for you to glimpse at a cluster with a controversial history about its true distance.  Reports vary considerably in the literature and mostly attributed to interstellar extinction.

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