M26


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M26: M26 is an open cluster in the constellation Scutum. This is one of the often-overlooked clusters, because of its proximity to the more visually appealing M11.

Messier: 26
NGC: 6694
Right Ascension: 18h 45.2m
Declination: -9° 24'
Apparent Magnitude: 8.0

Date: November 2010
Equipment:
Telescope: Meade 16" Schmidt Cassegrain with f6.3 reducer (used at ~ f6.1)
Camera: SBIG ST-10XE
Guiding: AO-8

Exposure: L: 10x1m, binned 1x1
RGB: 6x1m, binned 2x2
The camera was at -35°C

Processing Notes: Data acquisition with CCDSoft. Reduced and aligned in CCDStack and combined with Sigma combine. Arcsine stretch import of L into Photoshop. Repaired three brightest stars. Adjusted curves and levels. Slight noise reduction and blur on the dim areas and overall sharpening. RGB combined in AstroArt at 1:1:1.60 ratio. Adjusted curves and levels, and reduced noise of RGB. L was combined with RGB as a single luminance layer.
Scale: 0.52"/pixel on highest resolution

Links to images of this object on other sites:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messier_26
http://jthommes.com/Astro/M26.htm

Additional Comments: This image was taken during a star party as an example of how imaging is done. There were about 12 people in the dome at the time, and I was glad that everything worked as described. I have found very few other images of M26 on-line.

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