This rich cluster of stars was discovered by Messier on September 7, 1774, when a comet he was observing came close to the star cluster. Amateur astronomer Jeff Bondono proposed the name "sale and pepper" cluster for M52. The brightest member of the star cluster is a magnitude 8.2 yellow G-type giant. This G-type giant appears as a bright yellow star in the cluster (to the left of center in this image), which is located at the southwest edge of the cluster. Other than this one G-type giant, M52 mostly comprises young blue-white B3 main sequence stars. The overall brightness of M52 is magnitude 6.9. M52 lies in a region of the sky containing a rich Milky Way field of stars. The constellation Cassiopeia contains another object that made the Messier Catalog: star cluster M103.
This is an RGB color CCD image taken with a Takahashi FCT-150 refractor at prime focus using an STL-11000M CCD. The image was taken from my backyard in Scottsdale, Arizona.
M52 (NGC 7654)
RA: 23h 24m 50s Dec: +61d 36' 23" (J2000)
January 18, 2009
Image by Sid Leach
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