A widefield view of the open cluster M36 and surroundings in the constellation Auriga.

The image shows the open cluster M36 at far left, nebula NGC 1931 near the center, nebula IC417 right of center, cluster NGC 1907 above IC417 (near the top of the image), and just visible, a small part of LBN794 at upper right near the edge of the image.

Messier 36 is one of three (M37 & M38) bright open clusters that can be found in the constellation Auriga.
Discovered in 1654, M36 is about 4.100 light years distant.

Both NGC1931 and IC417 are dim nebulae which are also sometimes referred to as The Spider (IC 417) and The Fly (NGC 1931).
Both nebulae lie at a distance of about 10.000 light years.

NGC1907 at the very top of above image is an open star cluster containing about 30 stars and is 4.500 light years distant.
Finally the red nebula just visible at the top right (LBN794) is just a tiny part of a very vast and faint complex.

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Image data

Object info
Name M36
Type Open cluster
Constellation Auriga
Right ascension 5h 36m 12s
Declination +34° 08′ 04″
Distance 4.100 ly
Other designations NGC1960
Image info
Image date Dec. 14, 2009
Light frames 36x 6 min. @ ISO800 – Baader UHC-S
Total integration 3h 36m
Dark frames 20x
Flat frames 29x
Bias frames
Software used DSLRFocus, Pixinsight LE, ImagesPlus, Photoshop CS2
Processing DSLRFocus was used to focus the scope and create the imaging series.
ImagesPlus 2.8 was used to calibrate the light frames with 20 dark frames and 29 flat frames.
Photoshop CS4 was used for post-processing, levels and curves adjustments.
Pixinsight LE (DBE) was used to get rid off the light pollution gradients.
Noel Carboni’s astronomy tools were used for DSO enhancement and noise reduction.
Equipment info
Telescope TMB/LOMO 80/480
Corrector Televue 2″ TRF 2008 flattener/reducer (FL: 384mm f/4.8)
Mount Losmandy G-11
Camera Canon 350D
Guide camera Atik 1HS Mono
Guide scope Vixen VMC110L
Autoguide software Guidemaster
Filters 2″ Baader UHC-S
Location Landgraaf, The Netherlands
Image comments

Conditions were far from optimal.
Fog/haze and passing clouds were making things very difficult, and focus was off a bit.
Outside temperature was however approx. -6°C which was very helpful with keeping noise levels under control.