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Location of Photo:

France, Lorraine

Date/Time of photo:

Aug 25, 2022


It is rare to be able to photograph several objects on the same image. Thanks to my telescope with a focal length of 940mm, I was able to photograph these three open clusters of stars with a dark nebula. Located in the constellation of Cassiopeia, we therefore find: - NGC663 the star cluster located at the top of the image: discovered by the German astronomer Caroline Herschel in 1783 (William Herschel's sister). NGC 663 contains between fifty and a hundred stars. The age of this cluster is between 20 and 25 million years. - NGC654 the cluster, located at the bottom left, also discovered by the Herschel family. Just above to the left of the cluster is a blue supergiant star of magnitude 9.6 (HIP 8074) surrounded by a reflection nebula vdB 6. - IC166, located at the bottom right, is about 1 billion years old. Few clusters reach the age of a billion years because of the disturbance generated by the rotation in our galaxy. However, IC 166 is beyond the arm of Perseus and therefore far from the galactic center. It is assumed that the disturbing effects are weaker and therefore the chances of survival of these clusters are higher.