M24 and Neighbours: This section of the sky is for me the most spectacular of all! Some of the most impressive Messier objects are assembled in this photograph.
In the center of the image is M24, which has been included as an object by Messier into his famous catalogue. Nevertheless it is not an object in the pure astronomical sense like e.g. an Open Cluster. It is an aggregation of stars in a distance between 12000 to 16000 LY, which shine through a window in the central dust band of Milky Way.In this aggregation, which is also called "The Small Sagittarius Cloud" are three Dark Nebulae: B307, B93 und B94 from lower to upper. In the center of the triangular dark section are the Emission-/Reflection Nebulae IC 1283-4.
Along the image diagonal from lower left to upper right shine Eagle Nebula(M16), Swan Nebula(M17), Lagoon Nebula(M8) and Trifid Nebula(M20). At the upper edge of the image the Open Cluster M23 can be found and at the lower one M25. But not enough: In the lower right corner M22, one of the brightest Globular Clusters can be detected.

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Object M24 and Neighbours
Category Constellations
Designation M 024
Constellation Sagittarius
Optics Sigma Zoom lens 18-125 @ 84 mm f/5.6
Mount Piggyback on LX 200 8 inch in ALT/AZ orientation
Camera Hutech modified Canon 30D
Exposure 14 x ISO 1600-3min, IDAS LPS filter
Calibration Dark Frame
Guiding No
Processing ImagesPlus, Photoshop
Location-Date Mount Ceder, South Africa - 7 Apr 2008
Remark TMB 130 images of M8, M20, M16,M17 have been layered into the image
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