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Astronomical Observatory: Cool Images

Astr111 Photography Projects, Fall 2005

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M11 Wild Duck Open Cluster, Jordan Roeda

M11 Wild Duck Open Cluster

The Wild Duck Open Cluster is about 3000 light years away from earth and can be viewed with binoculars near the constellation Scutum. First discovered by Gottfried Kirch in1681, this star cluster was named for its resemblance to a flock of ducks in flight. M11 is composed of around 2900 stars that formed together an estimated 220 million years ago and is comparatively dense for an open cluster. It was not until 1733 that William Derham resolved it into individual stars.

M11 is composed primarily of hot young stars. This image clearly indicates how the hot stars of the Wild Duck Open Cluster give off a much more intense blue-white light than the fainter red and yellow stars surrounding them. Around 500 stars in M11 exhibit a magnitude greater than 14. As an open cluster, the stars of M11 are loosely bound together by gravity and can be disrupted by passing galaxies. The cluster has an angular size of about 14-15 arcminutes.


Right Ascension (J2000) 18h 51m 2s
Declination (J2000) -6 15' 53"
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R)
Exposure time per filter 300 seconds
Date observed

October 11, 2005 (B)
October 13, 2005 (VR)




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