Tag Archives: M6

M6: The Butterfly Cluster 

Image Credit & Copyright: Marco Lorenzi

 To some, the outline of the open cluster of stars M6 resembles a butterfly. M6, also known as NGC 6405, spans about 20 light-years and lies about 2,000 light years distant. M6, pictured above, can best be seen in a dark sky with binoculars towards the constellation of the Scorpion (Scorpius), coving about as much of the sky as the full moon. Like other open clusters, M6 is composed predominantly of young blue stars, although the brightest star is nearly orange. M6 is estimated to be about 100 million years old. Determining the distance to clusters like M6 helps astronomers calibrate the distance scale of the universe.

APOD NASA 03-Sep-14

The Butterfly Cluster in Scorpius

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The Butterfly Cluster (cataloged as Messier 6 or M6, and as NGC 6405) is an open cluster of stars in the constellation of Scorpius. Its name derives from the vague resemblance of its shape to a butterfly.

The first astronomer to record the Butterfly Cluster’s existence was Giovanni Battista Hodierna in 1654. However, Robert Burnham, Jr has proposed that the 1st century astronomer Ptolemy may have seen it with the naked eye while observing its neighbor the Ptolemy Cluster(M7). Charles Messier catalogued the cluster as M6 in 1764. It was not till the 20th century that star counts, distance, and other properties were measured.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Takahashi TOA 150
Imaging cameras: Canon EOS 5D Mark II MOD
Mounts: Takahashi EM-400 Temma2
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Vixen FL70S
Guiding cameras: Fishcamp Starfish
Focal reducers: Takahashi TOA 67 Flattener
Software: DeepSkyStacker, Adobe Photoshop CS3
Filters: UV/IR-cut
Dates: July 1, 2011
Locations: Mt. Ho-Huan (Taiwan)
Frames: 10×300″
Integration: 0.8 hours

Autor: Wei-Hao Wang

03 March 2014

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