Dazzling Star Cluster Shines in Stargazer's Photo
Astrophotographer Bob Franke captured this image of open star cluster NGC 6633 from Focal Pointe Observatory in Chino Valley, Ariz. on July 29 to July 30.
Credit: Bob Franke / Focal Pointe Observatory

The open star cluster NGC 6633 sparkles in the night sky in this beautiful image shot by astrophotographer Bob Franke from Focal Pointe Observatory in Chino Valley, Ariz.

Located roughly 1,000 light-years from Earth, the star cluster NGC 6633 is about the same size as the full moon in the night sky. It is home to approximately 30 young hot blue stars estimated about 600 million years old. The star cluster is located in the large constellation Ophiuchus, which is Greek meaning "serpent-bearer."

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Franke used a 12.5" RCOS telescope at ~f/9 (2880 mm fl), 0.64 arcsec / pixel, a Paramount ME mount, SBIG STL-11000 with internal filter wheel, and AstroDon Gen II Filters to capture the image. The image was taken on July 29 to July 30. You can see more of Bob Franke's astrophotography here.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at spacephotos@space.com.

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