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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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Indeed, I've been goooooogling.     What a beaut.     That's my next clear night sorted,  (hopefully just before rather than after Xmas day..... )  and probably next years Christmas cards. 

Thanks for bringing this to the fore. 

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Hi Peter and happy Christmas to you too. That cluster is an absolute glory! I can understand why Craney asked if it was for real but, knowing you, I didn't have a doubt. It's astonishing and way better than the usual Christmas Tree cluster. I really must have a pop at it.


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1 hour ago, Graham Darke said:

Lovely picture Peter and featured in January 2020’s Astronomy Now too I noticed. 

Thanks everybody.

Well spotted Graham!  I meant to submit it for the December issue, but forgot.  However when I did submit it, I pointed out to them that " the January issue will be in most people's Christmas stockings before 25th December"  and bless them, they obliged.  So a Happy Christmas to all at Astronomy Now.



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  • 1 year later...

Merry Christmas Peter.  

I have just shown your photo to my wife and she has asked me to capture it for next Christmas so that we can make Christmas cards using it.  

I only have a small refractor (480mm)  and note that the scope you used would be 4x more zoomed into.  So that I can gauge what may be possible, can I confirm whether you cropped your image to frame the 'tree'?




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Hi, Jem

Glad you like the pic.  But the cluster is pretty small - only 4 to 5 arc-minutes.  Yes I certainly did crop the image, and enhance the stars.  The original is on my web site here.

As you say, your field of view will be more than four times larger than mine, so the cluster will be very small.  But what camera will you be using?  The sensor on my QSI is quite big at 18 x 13.5 mm, and the pixel size is 5.4 mm.  But you should be able to resolve the cluster, and if your sensor has smaller pixels,  it could be a reasonable size.  I attach a skymap pro screen shot showing the frame size for my arrangement and an overlay of the stars.  As you can see the cluster is slightly offset from skymap's location, but very obvious.  It's high in Cassiopeia so well placed at the moment.  If you have no luck, you are welcome to use my photo for your cards, but please give me credit - on the back of the cards will be fine.

Best of luck, Peter


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