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Dates & Location

4th October - 5th November 2018 from the ICAstro site, Alcalali, Spain. Elevation 230 m.
Lat 38°:45.4 N, Long 00°:02.1 W

Catalogue identification

M45 Open Cluster
NGC1952 Largest area of Nebulosity

In this image, North is up

Equipment Used

Tak FSQ106N at 530 mm focal length, F5.0.
Paramount ME German equatorial Mount.
Camera - Moravian Instruments G3-16200 with 7 position FW and OAG.
TheSkyX Pro telescope control.
SGP used for camera, PHD Guide and Focus control.

Starlight Instruments Boss Focuser with FSQ rear cell replacement.
Lodestar guide camera.



Where it is in space

This field is approx 176 x 141 arcminutes - ie ~ 6 x 4.5 Moon diameters.

The brightest star is Alcyone at mag 2.85.
The cluster is approx 440 light years away in our galaxy.


Remote session using Splashtop control from Ravenshead, UK.
Exposures: L:18 x 20 min R:G:B 10 x 10 min each .
Narrowband exposures: None.

All sub-exposures 
-20°C. All images binned 1x1.
Automated sessions using Sequence Generator Pro (SGP).


  What it is

M45 is a very young open star cluster - gravitationally associated - passing through a dusty area of the Milky Way galaxy. The blue nebulosity areas are reflection nebulae caused by inter-stellar dust reflecting the blue light of the hot, young stars.
The cluster is about 12 light years in diameter and contains approximately 500 stars in total. It is dominated by young, hot blue stars. Up to 14 can be seen with the naked eye depending on local observing conditions, although 6 is more typical in the UK. The total mass contained in the cluster is estimated to be about 800 solar masses.
The cluster contains many brown dwarfs, which are objects with less than about 8% of the Sun's mass, not heavy enough for nuclear fusion reactions to start in their cores and become main sequence stars. They may constitute up to 25% of the total population of the cluster, although they contribute less than 2% of the total mass.

two loud.

Processing Methods

All data reduction with CCDStack. Lum, RGB masters and RGB colour combine prepared in CCDStack.

Master (Lum+RGB) colour created in PhotoShop CS6.
DDP stretching and finishing 
in PS CS6.