M34

About image

M34 is an open cluster in Perseus constellation. It is very large, having an apparent diameter of 35’, and also bright, as it is visible also with naked eye under a dark sky (the apparent magnitude is 5.5). 

It is composed by at least 100 stars and its estimated age is about 190 million years, so it is a very young clusters. 

Its distance is 1500 light years. 

In the image are visible many faint specks: they are in reality very far galaxies, and I was quite surprised to be able to catch them in spite of the very short total integration time  and poor quality of the sky due to severe light pollution. 

Very near on the upper edge of the image is visible a small bluish disk: it is the planetary nebula PK144-15.1, also known as Abell 4.

Technical data
Optic         Tecnosky Apo refractor LT 130-910 with Riccardi reducer 0.75x (focal lenght 692mm, f/5.3)
Mount       Skywatcher EQ8
Camera                      Atik 4000 with Starlight Xpress external filter wheel 5 positions
Filters                         Baader 50mm unmounted RGB  
Guiding system         Artesky Ultraguide 70mm 
Exposure details    R 20x300" bin1 -25C

         G 20x300" bin1 -25C
            B 20x300" bin1 -25C
Total integration       5h
Acquisition                Voyager, PHD2
Processing                Pixinsight 1.8, Photoshop CS5
SQM-L                       18.5    
Location                    Rescaldina (Italy), home terrace
Date                          12/13 January 2021




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