Messier 36 (M36, NGC 1960) is a magnitude 6.3 open cluster in Auriga. This open cluster
lies in our own Milky Way about 4100 light years away (as compared to the galaxies I like to
image, which are usually 20 million light years away or farther). This is a very "young"
open star cluster and is only about 25 million years old. Most of the stars you see here are
more massive than the sun and burning at very hot temperatures, which makes them
blue-white in color. There are about 60 stars in this bright little cluster. It is often compared
to the Pleiades, with which it is very similar in age and composition, although this cluster is
farther away and therefore not as prominent to the naked eye.
Date: Mar 1, 2014
Location: New Ringgold PA
Optics: Hyperion 12.5 inch f/9 2532mm focal length
Mount: Paramount ME
Camera: SBIG STL 11000
Guiding: self guided
Exposure: RGB - R:9x8 min, G:9x4 min, B:10x10 min for a total of 3.5 hrs
Processing: Image acquisition using CCD Autopilot. Initial processing was done using
Maxim DL with subsequent processing with Photoshop.