15 December 2016 | Sagittarius Star Cloud

Sagittarius Star Cloud

Credit: Christian van den Berge | Click image to enlarge or here for full size (24MB)

Image Data

Location: Kiripotib, Namibia
Date: 4 – 6 July 2016
Camera: Modified Nikon D600
Optics: APM 107/700 triplet with Riccardi 0.75 reducer
Mount: Fornax 51
Exposure: 12x12min ISO200 + 30x8min ISO200

Messier 24 (M24), also known as the Sagittarius Star Cloud or Delle Caustiche, is a large Milky Way star cloud in Sagittarius constellation.

The Sagittarius Star Cloud lies at an approximate distance of 10,000 light-years from Earth and has an apparent magnitude of 4.6. It has the designation IC 4715 in the Index Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars.

Messier 24 is about 600 light years wide and lies in the Sagittarius Arm of our galaxy, the next inner spiral arm to our own. It occupies an area of 90 arcminutes in apparent diameter and contains different types of objects, including stars and clusters that lie at a distance of 10,000 to 16,000 light years from Earth, which gives the cloud a significant depth. In the night sky, the star cloud appears about nine times larger than the full Moon.

Messier 24 is the densest concentration of individual stars that can be seen in binoculars. About 1,000 stars are visible in a single field of view. The star cloud is best seen in binoculars and telescopes with a field of view of at least 2 degrees, at low magnification.

Also visible amongst others are Barnard 92 and Barnard 93 (above M24) and to the bottom right are emission nebula IC 1284 and reflection Nebulae VdB 118 and Vdb 119.


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