M67: This is a nicely aging open cluster in the constellation Cancer, and one of the most widely studied. Since the stars in an open cluster typically all form at the same time, the massive blue stars will evolve and leave the main sequence first. This leaves a majority of dimmer, redder, main sequence stars, and a few red giants from the more massive stars as they end their lives. Interestingly, this cluster also contains numerous, anomalous "blue stragglers", whose origins are not fully understood.
Right Ascension: 8 h 51.4m
Declination: 11° 49'
Apparent Magnitude: 6.1
Date: April 2010
Telescope: Meade 16" Schmidt Cassegrain with f6.3 reducer
Camera: SBIG ST-10XE
Exposure: 15x20 seconds RGB.
Processing Notes: Image reduction and alignment was done using CCDStack. RGB subframes were stacked in Sigma Beta, and the three color channels were combined with a ratio of (1:1:1.5) and saved as a TIFF(data) file in AstroArt. Photoshop was used to slightly stretch the image, and Carboni actions "Space Noise Reduction" and "Make Stars Smaller" were applied once.
Links to images of this object on other sites:
Additional Comments: This was a target of opportunity. The observatory had only recently been opened for the year (road cleared of snow). I wanted to use a cluster to obtain better focus before imaging galaxies M96 in RGB. After looking at the shape of the stars in the final image, I am pretty sure guiding was not started yet. Also, this image is inverted vertically