M38 Open Star Cluster


M38 Star Cluster

M38 is a large star cluster in the Auriga Milky Way. It was discovered by Le Gentil in 1749. It was included as object number 38 in the first catalog published by Charles Messier. The total number of stars in the cluster is estimated to be over 100 stars. The star cluster is located about 4200 light years away. The diameter of the star cluster is about 25 light years. The star cluster contains several giants of type G. The brightest star in the cluster is a yellow G0 giant with a visual magnitude of about 7.9, and an actual luminosity of about 900 suns. Some people think the brightest stars in this group form a pattern resembling the greek letter "Pi". M38 is located about 2.3 degrees away from M36. The star cluster is about the same true size as M37, i.e., about 25 light-years in diameter.

This is an RGB CCD image taken with an SBIG ST-8XE CCD using a Takahashi FCT-150 refractor.

M38 (NGC1912)
Constellation: Auriga
RA: 05h 28m 36.6s Dec: +35d 49' 45"
January 5, 2006
Image by Sid Leach
Scottsdale, Arizona

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