All Images Copyright Steve Cannistra

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Magnitude:  5.5
Size: About 22'
Distance: 1400 light years
RA: 02h 42m 13.5s
Dec: 42 degrees 46' 19"

M34 is a beautiful, large open cluster in Perseus, a constellation that contains other famous open clusters such as NGC 869 and NGC 884.  The contrast in star color is impressive, with a predominance of young blue stars admixed with an occasional older yellow-red stars.  Inspection of this field on higher power reveals many small background galaxies.  More information about M34 may be found here.

Photographic Details:

Date:  January 1, 2005
Takahashi Sky 90 at f4.5 with field flattener/focal reducer, on the G11 Losmandy Mount.  I made a circular rim out of PVC tubing which fitted over the dew shield of the Sky90 and permitted placement of an elastic band to form an "X".  This created the star spikes shown above for the brighter stars.  A photograph of this device is shown here (this could also be accomplished with kite string or fishing line).
Autoguider:  SBIG STV with e-finder.
Camera:  SXV-H9
Astronomik Type II R, G, B, plus clear filter set.
Exposures:  L:R:G:B.  8 x 2' for Luminance (clear filter); R, G, and B (5 x 3' each), all unbinned.
Conditions:  Temperature 36 degrees F; below average transparency; below average seeing; a little breezy; occasional high, thin clouds passing through.
No darks, flats, or bias frames used.  Alignment and Min/Max Excluded combine done in ImagesPlus.  DDP was performed in ImagesPlus (IP).  Subsequent levels and curves adjustments in Photoshop CS (16 bit format).

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