Blue diamonds on a golden carpet

Messier 7, The Ptolemy Cluster in Scorpius

Blue diamonds on a golden carpet
Éder Iván

Diamonds of Namibia. Brillant gems on the sand of Namib Desert.

This image shows Messier 7 (NGC 6475) also known as the Ptolemy Cluster, is a bright open cluster in Scorpius constellation. It lies at an approximate distance of 1000 light years from Earth. The cluster is the southernmost Messier object in the sky, which makes it a challenging target for those in northern latitudes as Scorpius constellation never rises very high above the horizon. But with a visual magnitude of 3.3 and an apparent diameter of 80 arc minutes it can be seen even with naked eye from a dark northern observing site, but a small pair of binoculars show easily.

This photograph was taken from Namibia, where the cluster was overhead, high in the sky, during perfect observing conditions.

Image details

200/750 Newton, 3" Wynne (710mm effective focal length)
QSI 683 WSG-8, LRGB filters
SkyWatcher EQ6 + Boxdörfer DynoStar
Off axis, Lacerta-MGen autoguider + Mgen2Maxim
Exposure time, filters:
50 min RGB
Location, date:
Hakos astrofarm, Namibia (1835m); 2016 May
Observing conditions:
Transparency: 10/10, Seeing: 10/10
ImagesPlus, Registar, Photoshop

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