Deep Sky Object in Spring
Mel. 111 (Open Cluster in Coma Berenices)
|Date & Time: ||Mar 25 2000, 21:58 JST(+0900), 20min. Exp.
|Optical: ||SMC PENTAX f=165mm F2.8, Aperture: F4.0, with Cokin Diffuser-1 filter
|Auto-guided with TAKAHASHI JP Equatorial
|Camera: ||PENTAX 67
|Film: ||Ektachrome E200 (+1EV pushed)
|Location: ||Ooizumi vil., Yamanashi pref.
You'll notice fine stars gathering just north-east of Leo's tail. This group is a huge open cluster Mel.111 very close to us of about 260 light years away.
|Mel.111 / Open Cluster, type c, III 3 r|
|R.A.||12h 25m 00s (2000.0)|
|Dec.||+26° 08' 00" (2000.0)|
|Real Size||22 light yrs.|
|# of Stars||80|
|Distance||260 light yrs.|
There is another huge cluster of the Hyades in winter sky. Mel.111 has a different impression from Hyades that includes bright stars like Aldebaran.
Mel.111 includes about 80 stars with third or fourth magnitudes, looks like a triangle on the whole.
The cluster occupies almost all area of the constellation of Coma Berenices.
At just south of the cluster, there is one of the closest galactic clusters of the Virgo Cluster.
Therefore many galaxies are scattered in Coma Berenices; some of those can be enjoyed with small telescopes.
It can be said that a very neighbored open cluster inner-Galaxy and a galactic cluster extremely apart from us about several ten-millions light years outer space are seen adjacent in spring skies.