"The sky is the ultimate art gallery just above us." - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 82)
Astrophotography by Jason Jennings

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Nebulae :: M24 - Sagittarius Star Cloud

M24 - Sagittarius Star Cloud


Resolutions Available: 1321x666 : 2643x1332 : 5287x2665
         Object The small Sagittarius Star Cloud
         Comment Messier object number 24 is not a "true" deep sky object, but a huge star cloud along the Milky Way, a pseudo-cluster of stars spread thousands of light years along the line of sight, perceived through a chance tunnel in the interstellar dust. They form a portion of a spiral arm of our galaxy. This cloud is the bright Milky Way patch center of the image. There are numerous other deep sky objects that fill the scene such as M16, M17, M20 and M8 to name a few.

The interstellar dust generally dims the light of stars behind it. But the dust is patchy. For some unknown reason it clumps in clouds typically 25 light years across: many such clouds can be clearly distinguished, projected against the star cloud. There are typically two such clouds in a line of sight 1,000 light years long in the Milky Way. But even over the 30,000 light-years to the central regions of the Galaxy there could be, and by chance are, clearer windows than normal in the interstellar medium. M24 is in effect one of these windows. Reference

This image is a twelve panel, RGB composite mosaic spanning 14.3 x 7.2 degrees.
         Optics Takahashi FSQ-106ED F/5 (530mm FL)
         Camera SBIG STL-11000M - 1x1 bin (image scale: 3.5 arcsec/pix)
         Mount Losmandy Titan
         Exposure Total exposure time: 36 hours (3 hours per panel)
         Date Data acquired over numerous nights in July and August 2009


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