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Wild Duck Cluster: Open clusters are gravitationally bound groups of relatively young stars from our galaxy. This is why they occur in many different arrangements and patterns and incite the phantasy of the observers to link them to something we know from our daily life. This beautiful dense cluster looks from some perspective and magnification like wild ducks in flight.

It is one of the densest and most compact open clusters in Milky Way with close to 3000 member stars. The cluster is also located in a very bright part of the galaxy, called the Scutum Star Cloud. That is why you can see so many back- and foreground stars around. For an even larger view click here.

The image was taken at the observatory of IAS at Hakos Farm in Namibia.


Object Wild Duck Cluster
Category IAS Hakos, Namibia
Designation M 011
Constellation Scutum
Optics Keller 20 inch Cassegrain f/3 in corrected primary focus
Mount Liebscher GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M with internal CFW 5
Exposure 1 x 5min each RGB, Baader filterset. Maxim DL for image acquisition
Calibration Dark + Flat Frame
Guiding StarlightXpress Lodestar on Schneider OAG, Maxim DL as Guiding Software
Processing MaxIm DL5, Photoshop. Color Code RGB
Location-Date IAS-Hakos, Namibia - 18 Oct 2014
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