M36 - Open Cluster

M36 - Open Cluster in Auriga

M36 (NGC 1960) is a bright Open (or Galactic) Cluster located in the constellation Auriga at a distance of about 4,100 light years.  It contains about 60 stars of magnitude 9 to 14, with the brighter stars classified as hot-bluish spectral type B.  These bluish stars are clearly seen in this image.  M36 is a relatively young cluster (about 25 million years) and contains no red giants, unlike its nearby neighbors M37 and M38.  

More information about this object and additional images can be found at the Messier Index - M36.  

This true-color image is a composite of 10-second images in cyan (29x10sec), magenta (17x10sec) and yellow (11x10sec) taken on 30 September 2000.  

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