This open cluster is also known as the "Coat Hanger Cluster" because of the
pattern made by the stars within the cluster. This cluster contains
only a couple of dozen stars and is most likely not a true cluster but
merely a line of sight cluster. This means the stars, while close
together from our point of view are actually at substantially different
This cluster is located in Vulpecula (the constellation of the fox) and is
comparatively large at about 1 1/4 degrees across. Its member stars
are also quite bright ranging from magnitudes of about 5.1 to 6.8.
This makes this cluster a favorite for those that use "binos-on-a-stick" as
my fellow OKCAC member, Glen Kilgour likes to call them.
This image has been modified just a bit in Photoshop with a touch of an
artificial fog filter effect on the stars that make up the coat hanger
profile to make them easier to pick out of the crowds. The image has
also been rotated 180 degrees so north is down in this view.
Telescope: Sigma 135-400 telephoto, f/5.6
Camera: Hutech Modified
Canon 350D, ISO 800
Exposure Count: 59 x 30 seconds, 29.5 minutes total
ImagesPlus: Dark and flat calibration, align and
combine, digital development
Photoshop CS2: Smart sharpen, levels adjustment,
duplicate image, apply Gaussian blur for fog filter effect, select blurred
bright stars of cluster with 10 pixel feather copy and paste to new level in
original. Adjust opacity of new level.
NeatImage: Noise reduction