Messier 36 – Open Cluster in Auriga

Open Cluster Messier 36 (NGC 1960) is located in the Auriga constellation.  Located about 4,100 light years from Earth, and 14 light years across, it has at least 60 members.  It is very similar to the Pleiades (M45) and if M36 was at the same distance (M45 is 10 times closer) it would be of similar magnitude.  Two other open clusters from Messier’s catalog are located nearby: M37 and M38.  The stars in the cluster are of spectral type B2, and fairly young: 25 million years.

Open Cluster Messier 36. Skywatcher 80ED, Canon 400D 18x30sec

Open Cluster Messier 36. Skywatcher 80ED, Canon 400D 18x30sec

The blue-ish stars contrast with the older yellow and orange stars in the background.  This can be further enhanced by using the SBLUR function in IRIS to selectively blur and enhance the colors of bright stars.  While the colors are exaggerated in the image below, it is nevertheless interesting to see the vast diversity of stars and their color.

Open Cluster Messier 36. Skywatcher 80ED, Canon 400D 18x30sec

Open Cluster Messier 36. Skywatcher 80ED, Canon 400D 18x30sec (SBLUR for colour)

Telescope: Skywatcher 80ED
Camera: Canon Digital Rebel XTi (400D)
Exposure: 18 x 30sec (ISO 800)
Date: 18Mar2016

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3 thoughts on “Messier 36 – Open Cluster in Auriga

  1. Pingback: Messier 38 and NGC1907 – Open Clusters in Auriga | Ben Backyard Astronomy

  2. Pingback: Messier 37 – Brightest Open Cluster in Auriga | Ben Backyard Astronomy

  3. Pingback: Auriga and It’s Three Bright Open Clusters | Ben Backyard Astronomy

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