M26 Open Star Cluster

M26 is a magnitude 8.0 galactic star cluster. M26 has about 100 stars that are members of the cluster, but only about 20 of them are visible in a 6 to 8 inch telescope. Therefore, this star cluster is unimpressive when viewed with amateur size telescopes. The brightest star in the group is a magnitude 10.3 type B8 star. The remainder of the stars are magnitude 12 and dimmer. This star cluster is located about 5,200 light-years away. It is about 12 light-years in diameter. Charles Messier discovered M26 on June 20, 1764. Occasionally, the discovery of this star cluster is attributed to le Gentil (who allegedly observed it prior to 1750), but the position that le Gentil recorded corresponded to M11, which is a little more than three degrees away from M26.

This is an RGB color composite CCD image taken with a Takahashi Epsilon 180ED using an STL-11000M CCD. This image was taken from my backyard in Scottsdale, Arizona.

M26 (NGC 6694)
Constellation: Scutum
RA: 18h 45m 18s Dec: -09d 22' 50" (J2000)
March 15, 2009
Image by Sid Leach
Scottsdale, Arizona

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