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Qualia's Blog

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NGC 7510 - A View from a City

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NGC 7510 - Open Cluster

NGC 7510 is a young, open cluster in Cepheus just a couple of degrees below M 52. It is estimated to contain anything between 30 to 60 member stars, scattered across 10 to 15 light years of space and ranging from a magnitude of about 8 to 15. It is about 107 years old and although relatively unknown, its distance from Earth has been valued from anything between 7,000 to just under 17,000 light years. Putting this into some perspective, as the cluster's light reaches you, it began its lonely voyage while the Neolithic era was still in full swing, rice has probably just been domesticated and the wheel is more than likely still a promise for the future to discover.

NGC 7510 is a gorgeous cluster and to some extent resembles an arrow's head. The whole area is faintly tinted with a huge nebulous haze, a great cloud of ionized hydrogen subtly concealing a background of fainter stars trying to emerge from the quiet and solitary darkness and carve out their own brilliance in the night sky.

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Hi, liking your image can you please explain what set up you have, i also have a 4" scope and same EP's but produce nothing like your image, many thanks

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Thanks for the comment, Scoobee and I'd be interested to hear what you did see when viewing NGC 7510. I found it quite easy to find and very bright and was shocked at first at just how much of that nebula-like cloud shines forth. Nothing at all like a nebula itself. Are you sure you came across the same object?


The set up is nothing more than is written. I view from a high-rise roof top in a Spanish city which is surrounded by desert lands and mountain tops at about 2am/3am in the morning. I'll spend a good hour or so just observing and jotting dots on a piece of paper and more often than not, return to the site the following evening to make sure I've captured everything.

I'll scan the image into the computer and tidy up the stars and shadings. Basically, that consists of rubbing out the irregular star-blobs and making them into single focuses of light. I've played around with different techniques and although a very fine tipex type of pen and chalked brush on black paper looks better in the original when it comes to scanning it in, a lot is lost. So with these type of star-shots, I just do it in pencil on white paper and invert the positive image. Light grey shadings come out as clouds, fine black pencil dots come out as white stars!

And that's about it. I'm also blessed with deep blue skies during most of the year and a gentle cooling breeze running under cloudless and super dry evening skies, night, after night, after night. Hope that helps. If you need anymore info on this, just drop me a line.

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And those clear dark skies with comfortable temperatures are a blessing, as in Finland we have no night in summer, often clouds in autumn and spring, and deep freeze on clear skies in winter. I envy you. Nice observation reports!

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Ay, it does make viewing a pleasure when evening temperatures are really quite mild and the winter months don't fill up with clouds too often. Thank you for your kind comment, Folkert.

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