Monday, December 12, 2011

Imaging with Large Telescopes

Last week I posted an image of the Sculptor galaxy taken with the Faulkes 2-meter telescope on Haleakalā while we had some free time as my group was gathering data for our Observational Astronomy final project. Today, I have a picture of our original target, the open cluster Messier 52. It's a moderately rich open cluster located in the constellation Cassiopeia. Unusually, its distance is not well known, with estimates ranging from 3,000 to 7,000 light-years.

Messier 52, in Cassiopeia.

I had to cheat a bit more than usual to get this picture, because it doesn't actually have any red data. All we needed for our project was blue and green data, so I simply duplicated the green data and used it as red to get this picture. I think it came out all right, according to the data we got most of the stars are fairly neutral or white anyway, so the missing red data wasn't really that important for this cluster.

If you're wondering about the ratio of the picture, it's actually two different fields that I combined which we took in order to ensure we got the entire cluster.

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