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Martin Meredith

NGC 6603: an open cluster near the galactic bulge

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Posted (edited)

I've always been fascinated by the M24 region after learning that it is a window thru a gap in the nearest spiral arm through to the next arm, in the direction of the centre of our galaxy. NGC 6603 is a distant star cluster within M24 and is thought to lie near to the galactic bulge.

This is a live LRGB combination using 5s subs for a total of just over 2 minutes. I like the slightly curved line of stars running across the centre of the cluster. The cluster contains a population of around a dozen red giants. It has been considered to have globular cluster characteristics e.g. see http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/pdf/1993A%26A...270..117B The cluster is indeed very dense and has a diameter that fits the small Lodestar chip nicely. (I am always amazed at what can be done with a sub 800x600 pixel sensor). The peach and blue field stars add interest to this region. I have yet to dig out colour data for these but they appear useful for calibration. [edit: the B-V values for the three bright stars below the cluster are 1.02, 2.0 and -0.11 respectively, which looks about right]


I'm continuing to experiment with live LRGB methods. I used SLL to capture through each of LRGB filters while Jocular did the rest. I simply adjusted the saturation and the degree of power stretch applied to the RGB data (the L is stretched independently in the normal way for mono).

Thanks for looking



Edited by Martin Meredith
added B-V values
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That's a lovely area of sky you have captured with some really amazing star colours, so many reds. I am frankly gobsmacked that you have captured an image of that quality with a Lodestar! I am guessing the colour rendition provided by Jocular makes it different (better)  to other Colour Lodstar images I may have seen in the past.  I never knew about the 'window' btw. 

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Thanks Rob. I think the main differences are that I'm using mono + filters, which I find produce better star colours than using a colour Lodestar, and that I'm using LRGB and LAB colour space, which provides good resolution (from the L) and an easy to manipulate saturation component. I should have added that I'm also using (fractional) colour binning, set to about 2x2, which helps reduce colour noise. These are the only manipulations. There is no messing around with the individual R, G and B channels (and still no histograms!).


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