M34 - Open Cluster in Perseus


Discovered by Giovanni Batista Hodierna before 1654.

This intermediate aged open cluster of about 100 stars (according to H.S. Hogg) lies about 1,400 light years and is scattered over 35 arc minutes, more than the diameter of the full Moon. This angular diameter corresponds to a linear 14 light years; Wallenquist has estimated a little more (42' corresponding to 18.5 light years).

This cluster was classified as of Trumpler type I,3,m (Sky Catalog 2000) or II,3,r (Götz). Its appearance is influenced by a nearby non-member of mag 7.3, while the brightest member star is of magnitude 7.9.

The age of M34 was estimated at 110 million years by Van Hoerner in 1957, while the Sky Catalog 2000 gives a more modern value of 190 million years. This value has recently been updated to 180 million years

[ source: SEDS.ORG ]

Technical details:
Tak FSQ F5 refractor
ST-10XME and CFW8a w Astrodon RGB on AP900GTO
1 x 5 min Red(!), 3x5min Green, 4x5min Blue
Flesherton, Ontario, Canada
Dec 21, 2006
Ambient temp 10 celcius, CCD temp -15C
Images captured, aligned and Combined in CCDSoft v5.0
Levels and curves applied in Photoshop 6