Tuesday, 4 February 2014


M29 - open cluster in Cygnus. 

Also named NGC 6913.

Discovered by Charles Messier in 1764 (he either discovered or at least indexed all objects noted M- in order not to mistake them for comets, which was the thing he was after).


RA 20h 23m 56s
DEC +38° 31.5'

Distance: 4 000 light years (various sources indicate values ranging from 2000 ly to 7000 ly). Four thousand years ago on Earth, when light was leaving M29 aiming for my camera: the ancestors of the latins were arriving in Italy, Stonehenge is believed to have been completed, people were taming wild horses for the first time and using them for transport, the bronze age started in Northern China. A rare and undoubtedly pretty alignment of the naked eye planets also took place, crowded together in some 4° in the sky. We also have the first accounts of schizophrenia and man started using glass.

Magnitude: 7 (can be seen using binoculars)

Apparent dimensions: 7 arcminutes.

M29 - Open cluster in Cygnus

This is not the most striking or interesting object in the sky, but it's approaching Earth at 28 km/second (contact me if you wish to donate your wealth if you think the End is coming and M29 is the dark messenger).

Photo information:

Photographed in September 2007 with a 80mm f/5 achromat refractor. Canon 350D @ ISO 1600, 18 frames of 30s each on a EQ 3-2 German mount (motorised on both axes).