M-56 (NGC-6779)

M-56 (NGC-6779)

M-56 (NGC-6779) is a globular star cluster located in the SE portion of the constellation of Lyra, midway between the star Gamma Lyrae (Sulafat) and Albireo (Beta Cygnii). It lies 32,000 light years from Earth and is 84 light years in diameter. It is estimated to be 13.7 billion years old, and its properties suggest that it may have been captured by our Milky Way galaxy during a merger with a dwarf galaxy, of which Omega Centauri is the surviving nucleus. It was discovered by Charles Messier in 1779, and entered into his catalog as number 56. He described it as "a nebula without stars".
This image, acquired on August 17, 2012, is a 20 minute integration of 50 second exposures through the Celestron C-11 at f/2, using the HyperStar III imaging system and the Starlight Express SXVR-H694C color CCD camera, operating at -10 degrees below ambient temperature and binned 1 X 1. Guided, captured and combined using Maxim DL5 Pro. Post processed using PhotoShop CS2, Gradient XTerminator, StarShrink, Carboni's Astro Tools and NoiseWare.