Friday, February 23rd, 2018

Star clusters


NGC 884

For visual appeal, star clusters are not at the top of my favorites list, but when you find a pair of them close together, it’s always worth a look. This pair goes by the catalog names of NGC 884 and NGC 896, left and right, respectively. They were snapped by Stella (with a lttle help from me all snug on the warm side of the patio door) on Thanksgiving evening. She drilled a neat little hole through the gray, light polluted sky and captured this sight of the Double Cluster. Actually she snapped thirty 2-minute frames for one hour total exposure.

A mystery worth pondering is how God found time during his ordering of the night sky to compose these clusters together in such a way as to appeal to our sense of beauty and order. He even sprinkled in a few orange dying stars, like ornaments on a Christmas tree, to create a special starry scene for our enjoyment. While you are at this pondering business, what message does God want earthly viewers to perceive? While you are thinking about that, I am busy pondering how to get in a sneaky message about ancient shepherds on a Palestinian hillside many, many years ago. When they looked up, they saw a special star hanging up there. They followed it, and the rest is history.

For more details about my rendition of the Double Cluster, go to my page at Dave’s Astrobin.

Dave, starry-eyed


4 Responses to “Star clusters”
  1. Laura says:

    It’s like a pair of eyes looking down, I would love to see the sky the shepherds saw after the birth of Jesus. Tell Stella she did a good job and wrap her up against the cold:)

  2. Dave says:

    Thanks, Laura. I’ll give her an extra pat on the back. I, too, would like to see the sky the shepherds saw, for two reasons. First is to see the star they saw, and second just to see what the sky would look like without any light pollution. I doubt that Bethlehem was generating much light pollution in those days.

  3. Leslie says:

    So those orange stars are dying? You and Stella do a nice job of cutting through the polluted sky, Dad. It’s fun to zoom in on your images, they’re so clear. I agree, Laura, they look like a pair of eyes looking down, only they’re cross-eyed, but that’s fine by me. 🙂

  4. Dave says:

    As for orange dying stars, take that with a grain of salt. I do know for sure that red and orange stars are not as hot as white and blue stars. But they are not brown dwarfs, yet. If you want to know more, Google star classification color. Just remember, “Oh, Be A Fine Guy/Girl, Kiss Me.” (If you want to know what that’s all about, ask Mr. Google.

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