The Coathanger – 2013-10-03

The skies were clear for about 20min on Oct 3 2013 so i rushed out to the observatory to take a quick image of the “Coathanger”. The AT106 was on the mount with the Canon T2i and this configuration was exactly what was needed to frame the object. I mentioned this object in the September Skies article. The “Coathanger” is a group of stars that very clearly looks like a coat hanger – albeit upside down. It’s more formally known a Brocchi’s cluster or Collinger 399. But these names lack any descriptive appeal. The image as processed with calibration frames and appropriately stretched with colour balance is below:

Coathanger - 2013-10-03 - v1

Coathanger – 2013-10-03 – v1

Just for fun, i added false diffraction spikes. The spikes are usually an artifact of imaging with a reflector type telescope. The spikes are caused by light diffracting around the supports that hold that camera or diagonal mirror. Many people have come to expect the spikes and think they are normal or at least add visual appeal. The image below adds spikes using a PhotoShop tool:

Coathanger - 2013-10-03 - v2 spikes

Coathanger – 2013-10-03 – v2 spikes