This Month’s imaging object is a rather beautiful globular cluster in the constellation Sagitta – M71. The nice bright star towards the top left in the image below is Gamma Sagitta, and M71 lies mid way between Gamma and Delta Sagitta. M71 looks rather loose for a globular cluster and there was controversy over whether this object was in fact an open cluster – it seems without doubt that this is a globular cluster lying around 13,000 light years away in the constellation Sagitta. I see from my notes that I did not start imaging this one until around 11:30 p.m. so we still have the problem of the late nights and early mornings of Summer 🙁 However, being a cluster we can keep the subs down to a reasonable 2 or 3 minutes each using either the f#2 Hyperstar or the f#4.5 Sky 90 which means that we don’t need to continue imaging until the Sun comes up, but we can get away with just a couple of hours or so of good data.
It is still a very difficult month for imaging with the very late starts, but after no imaging at all during the whole of June it’s now worth getting out to try and grab hold of ANYTHING. I am now longing for the shorter evenings which start to make their appearance beyond mid-August.
Wishing you good weather and clear skies for this July 🙂