Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors

Astrophotography Brian A. Morganti

M38 (NGC-1912)


IC-417 Emission Nebula

Open Clusters & Nebula




Open cluster M38, in the lower center of this view, is one of the three famous Messier clusters in Auriga (along with M36 & M37).  Some describe its 100 stars as forming the shape of the Greek Letter Pi.  Lying at a distance of about 4,000 light years, this 200 million year-old cluster is still dominated by young blue-white stars, with a few scattered red giants.  Generally, blue-white stars are large and bright, and so burn out earlier than other dimmer yellow stars.  Open Cluster NGC1907 is the smaller, tighter cluster above M38 and is slightly farther away at 4,500 light-years.  Its 30 stars appear more tightly clustered at  least in part because of the greater distance.  With an age of 440 million years, fewer blue-white stars survive than in M38.  Lastly, at the top center of the image can be seen the small red emission nebula of IC417


  • Date & Location:  January 14, 2010  - Bernville, PA

  • Weather:  Calm, 26F.

  • Sky Conditions:  Patchy cirrus with average transparency. 

  • Optics:  TeleVue NP101is Refractor with 0.8x TeleVue Reducer = 432mm @ f4.3

  • Filter:  Astronomic  EOS clip-in CLS-CCD (Light Pollution Suppression)

  • Mount:  Losmandy G-11 equatorial with Gemini V4

  • Guiding:  Orion Solitaire w/TeleVue TV60is

  • Camera:  Canon T1i (500D) Hap Griffin Modified - Baader UV/IR

  • Exposure:  22 min (3 x 4 min, 2 x 5min) @ ISO 400 RAW

  • Calibration Frames:  No dark frame subtraction (26F)

  • Processing:  Photoshop CS4, Noise Ninja, NIK, Noel Carboni Astronomy Tools

  • Comments:  Cirrus clouds and tracking issues resulted in fewer and shorter exposures, no doubt  resulting in a loss of a more detailed image, although star colors do appear to be accurate.


Astrophotography  -  Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors