M39 Open Star Cluster

M39 is a relatively sparse galactic star cluster with about 30 stars that are members of the cluster. It is located relatively close to us at a distance of about 800 light-years. As a result, the stars are spread out over a large field and must be viewed with binoculars or with a wide field telescope at low power to be appreciated. The stars in M39 are probably younger than the stars in the Coma Berenices cluster, but older than the Pleiades. This object is rated at magnitude 4.6, and was reportedly noted in ancient times by Aristotle as a cometary appearing object. M39 was discovered by Le Gentil in 1750. Although Cygnus hosts a number of beautiful deep sky objects, Charles Messier included only two objects in his catalog that are located in this constellation. For example, Messier overlooked the Cocoon Nebula, which is located only about 3 and 1/2 degrees from M39. The other Messier object in Cygnus is M29.

This is an RGB color composite CCD image taken with a Takahashi FCT-150 using an ST-8XE. This image was taken from my backyard in Scottsdale, Arizona.

M39 (NGC 7092)
Constellation: Cygnus
RA: 21h 32m 09s Dec: +48d 26' 32"
April 16, 2006
Image by Sid Leach
Scottsdale, Arizona

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