A bright, large, open cluster with a couple dozen bright stars and many more dimmer ones. It filled the 1.4 degree field of view. The main area fits in about a half degree area. All stars appear to be white. I saw quite a lot of double stars evident throughout the cluster.
M39 is a 230 to 300 million year old cluster that resides about 800 light years away. Within its 7 light year diameter, there are about 30 proven members, with from 50 to 100 stars suspected to be members. It is moving toward us at 28 km/sec.
While Charles Messier catalogued M39 in 1764, there is some contention that Le Gentil discovered it in 1750, and that Aristotle noted it as a cometary object in 325 BC.
|Position||Cygnus [RA: 21:32.2 / Dec: +48:26]*|
|Date/Time||10/14/04 – 10:40 PM|
|Observing Loc.||Flagstaff, AZ – Home|
|Instrument||Orion SVP 6LT Reflector (150 mm dia./1200 mm F/L)|
|Eyepieces/Mag.||32 mm (37X)|
* Based on published data.