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NGC 6231 - aka THE TABLE OF SCORPIUS

 OPEN CLUSTER    

(Image centered at: ra 16 h:54 m / dec - 41 48')

 

 

CLICK THE IMAGE FOR A HIGH RESOLUTION VIEW

 

August - June 2023, Home Backyard in Martinez, Buenos Aires, Argentina

 


 

DATA

TYPE: Open Cluster

APPARENT DIAMETER:15 arc minutes

APPARENT MAGNITUDE (V): 2.6

DISTANCE: 5600 light years

 

IMAGE INFORMATION

INSTRUMENT: 6" ORION OPTICS UK (Ultra Grade Optics) w/Sky Watcher Coma Corrector (0.9x) working at at f4.5

CAMERA: QHY 183 MONO

MOUNT: SKY WATCHER NEQ6, OAG with Starlight Xpress Lodestar

FILTERS: Optolong LRGB Set

SKY CONDITIONS: urban skies - Bortle 8

EXPOSURES: LHaRGB (60,90,60,60,60)

 

OBJECT DESCRIPTION AND IMAGE SESSION

NGC 6231 is located at the south-western bend of the Scorpion's tail in the constellation of Scorpius. It is a young Open Cluster with an estimated age of 2-7 million years and is approaching our Solar System at 22 km per second. The cluster was discovered by Italian astronomer Giovanni Bautista Hodierna before 1654. Using an narrowband Ha filter some nebulosity shows up which is part of Gum 56.

The Cluster is also known as the Table of Scorpius, however there is not any piece of furniture asterism. Following Michael Bakich book 1001 Celestial Wonders to See Before You Die, the "Table" more likely refers to a place called the Table Mountain in South Africa where John Herschel used as a reference to spot the open cluster in 1830.

Is is also referred to the nickname the "false comet" being NGC 6231 the head of the comet and the chain of stars visible in the image from the center to the top left the tail. A wide field image can be seen here

A bright object and a nice target for binoculars or any type of telescope.