The Ptolemy Cluster, by Neil Creek
Messier 7, the Ptolemy Cluster, is a loose cluster of young, blue, 200 million year old stars that has been known since antiquity and was first described in history by the philosopher and scientist Ptolemy. Comprising of about 80 stars at a distance of nearly 1000 light years, it is small at 25 light years across against the much more distant and dense core of the Milky Way galaxy.
I took this photo as a test of my first night using autoguiding to improve the accuracy of my telescope mount to track the stars as I photograph them. This meant I was able to eliminate small errors from the mount drive and small movements of the telescope due to wind, sag, and so on. This will help me to produce sharper, clearer photos in the future!
Taken on the night of the first quarter moon, 2C ambient temperature.
Camera: Canon 5d MkIII
Telescope: 200mm f4 Newtonian reflector
30 x 2min exposures – 1 hour total
Dark, flat, and bias calibration frames applied
Processed with Pixinsight and Lightroom
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