Object name: M067

Designation(s): M067,

M67 is an open star cluster in Cancer. While it is considered a very old cluster its age is still heavily debated. WEBDA gives an age of 9.3 billion years, nearly the age of the galaxy and more in line with a globular cluster than an open cluster. Others say 3 to 4 billion years for it. Due to its age, it lacks the bright blue stars seen in most open clusters. It seems to contain some A stars which would argue against the WEBDA age as those stars would have long since died though could they just be field stars rather than cluster members. I didn\'t find motion studies of the stars which should answer such questions. Most sources do agree it is about 3,000 light-years or a bit less distant. WEBDA says 2960 while SEDS says 2700 for example.

My image lacks a lot of stars due to being taken through heavy clouds. I was only able to salvage two luminance frames and those were heavily hit. But the main cluster shows up. I do miss the 200 or so white dwarf stars it contains which are the remains of the hot blue stars normally seen in such clusters. It must have been a grand site when they were still main sequence stars.

The cluster was first discovered by Johann Koehler sometime in 1779 or maybe earlier. Messier recorded it on April 6, 1780.

For more on it at SEDS see: http://messier.seds.org/m/m067.html

14\" LX200R @ f/10, L=2x10\' RGB=2x5\'x3, STL-11000XM, Paramount ME