January 14, 2009
The photo above showing the dazzling Coathanger asterism (an asterism is a prominent part of a constellation or star grouping) was taken from the New Forest Observatory in Brockenhurst, England, in early August of 2008. The Coathanger, can be found in the constellation of Vupecula. It's also known as Brocchi's Cluster and Collinder 399 and though it can be seen with the unaided eye, it's especially pleasing when viewed through a small telescope. The sky this midsummer's night was nearly ideal for photography. Featured with the Coathanger is NGC6802 (at left), which is an open cluster of stars of nearly uniform brightness. Note that on this photo there's a touch of reflection nebulosity (top/middle) as well as a tiny region of emission nebulosity (top/right). Photo processed by Noel Carboni.