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Wild Duck Cluster
Benjamin David

Wild Duck Cluster

Wild Duck Cluster also known as (M 11, or NGC 6705) is an open Cluster. It was discovered by Gottfried Kirch in 1681. The French astronomer, Charles Messier included it in his catalogue in 1764. This Cluster is one of the richest and most compact of the known open clusters. It contains about 2900 stars, about 500 of which are brighter than mag 14. An observer at the center of M11 would see several hundred first magnitude stars! So rich and dense, it was classified by Trumpler as II,2,r (some newer classifications have it as I,2,r). Its age is estimated to be about 220 million years. Its name derives from the brighter stars forming a triangle which could represent a flying flock of ducks.

The distance to this object is estimated to be 17.5 light years; We find a maximum angular size of 324 arcseconds, which corresponds to a linear size of 10 light days. The bright young stars appear blue. Open clusters also called galactic clusters, contain fewer and younger stars than globular clusters. NASA states that unlike global clusters, open clusters are generally confined to the plane of our galaxy.M11 is visible with binoculars towards the constellation of scutum.

 

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Duck_Cluster

http://messier.seds.org/m/m011.html

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap030122.html

Right Ascension (J2000) 18 51 06.00
Declination (J2000) -06 16 00.0
Filters used B (Blue), R (Red), V (Green)
Exposure time per filter B and V (10), R (60)
Date observed October 20, 2012 T09:32:13'

 

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