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Messier 38 (or NGC 1912, the Starfish Cluster) is an intermediate age open cluster (250 million years). Located 3,500 light years away, in the constellation Auriga, is appears to be in the vicinity of M36 and M37. Their distances are in the same range (3,500 to 4,500 light years. M38 lies very close to another open cluster, NGC 1907, and they seem to be experiencing a fly-by . In this case, they have originated in different parts of the galaxy and they just happen to be crossing paths.
Name(s): Messier 38. M38. NGC 1912. Starfish Cluster.
Type: Open Cluster
RA: 05h 28m 43s
Dec: +35º 51’ 18”
Size (arcmin): 21×21 arcmin
Distance: 4,500 ly
Location: Curiosity2 Observatory, New Mexico Skies, Mayhill, NM, USA
Size (arcmin):30.5×31 arcmin
Telescope: 24” (61 cm) f/6.5 Reflector
Camera: FLI PL16803 (4096x4096pix)
Guiding: Astrodon MonsterMOAG off-axis guider
Total exposure: 3 hours (1 h each RGB)
Processing: CCDStack, Photoshop CC 2022