Open Cluster M26 (NGC 6694), type 'f', in Scutum

RA 18:45.2 (h:m); DEC -09:24 (deg:m); Distance 5000 light years;
Visual Brightness 8.0 (mag); Apparent Dimension 15.0 (arc min)

This cluster is not so impressive as its apparent neighbor, M11.
Its discoverer Charles Messier, who cataloged it on June 20, 1764, even noted that it was "not distinguished in a 3.5 foot (FL) telescope and needed a better instrument."

Nevertheless, this is a tight, beautiful open cluster with brightest stars of mag 11.9, spectral type B8. Burnham mentions about 25 stars visible in 6-8 inch scopes and about 70 fainter members, Mallas/Kreimer overall 90. Its diameter of 22 light-years appear as 15 arc minutes from the 5,000 light years distance.

Source and more: SEDS

July 18, 2003 23:07 - 23:14 UT
28x15 seconds exposure, unguided.
YRGB processing.