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4/10/06 Globular Cluster M3

M3 is a beautifully symmetrical, gravitationally bound ball of over 500,000 stars. This is the first image I've taken with the LX200 since I purchased the Tak FC-60 refractor in October of 2005. The power of the LX200 is great for smaller objects like globular clusters, most galaxies, and planetary nebulae, where the refractor is better for larger wide field images of open clusters and emission nebulae. It's kind of a luxury to be able to do either. This shot was taken under a nearly full moon. The object is very bright so I was able to go with relatively short unguided sub exposures, nullifying the sky fog and gradients that usually occur when imaging when the moon is blazing.