February 17, 2013
Photographer: Leonardo Orazi; Leonardo's Web site
Summary Authors: Leonardo Orazi; Jim Foster
The image above shows the Owl Cluster (NGC 457) in the constellation of Cassiopeia as viewed from Turin, Italy on the evening of November 12, 2012. It's approximately 8,000 light years away and is also referred to as the Kachina Doll Cluster or ET Cluster. Most of its 150 or so stars are dim (magnitude 12 or fainter), so its two most prominent stars (magnitude 5 and 7) are thought of as bright eyes. Because there are few dust clouds in the direction of Cassiopeia, star fields appear richer than in apparently nearby constellations, Perseus for example, where such clouds are more noticeable.