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Astr111 Photography Projects, Fall 2009

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M52 Open Cluster, Lindsey King

M52 Open Cluster

M52 is a cluster of stars that is one of the original discoveries of Charles Messier. He cataloged the cluster on September 7, 1774 when a comet came close to it, giving the location that it is near the Cassiopeia constellation. Not only has it been declared being near the constellation, but is set in the backdrop of the Milky Way consisting of about 200 bright stars, known as “Salt and Pepper” because of its density. M52 is anticipated to be 3,000-7,000 light years and is said to be about 23 million years old because it shows the center stars in a blue color indicating its age, but yet is still bright.. With that, the formation of the stars are set out by the heat they conduct from the time period that they have been formed from the beginning. Starting off with the red stars it has formed greater heat to the point of it turning blue (the brightest stars in center of cluster). With its diameter of 13.0 arc minutes, it “corresponds to a linear extension of 19 light years.” (http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m052.html) Even though it is in our galaxy, M52 can be easily seen with binoculars, and the fainter stars can be exposed through a small telescope.

The image shows the cluster of stars forming in the center with scattered stars around it. They mostly contain a yellow/orange color while containing a formation of a few red spots near the outskirts of the cluster with the blue (older) stars in the middle of the cluster giving the brightest effect. Through my research, the linear size came out to be .13 arc seconds by using the small angle formula.


"Messier Catalog M51-M60" Web. 25 Nov. 2009.


Frommert, Hartmut and Kronberg, Christine. "Messier 52"


Right Ascension (J2000) 23:24:41.00
Declination (J2000) +61:38:32
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 5x60 seconds in C, 100 seconds in BVR
Date observed

September 01, 2009 (C)
September 01, 2009 (BVR)