Object name: NGC7031

Designation(s): NGC7031,

NGC 7031 is a bright but sparse open cluster in Cygnus about 3,000 light-years distant. WEBDA says it is about 140 million years old. Thus the most massive stars have long since died leaving mostly A and less massive stars. It is reddened by about 0.85 magnitudes. That may explain the lack of blue stars in the cluster. The image was blue starved due to severe smoke here. This also limited the fainter stars I could pick up.

I found only one color image that included this cluster and then only in the upper left corner. It was taken by the \"Dust Buster\" Tom Davis back in 2009 so I assume he had no smoke. His resolution was less than mine but it does seem to show similar star colors to mine so I think I compensated fairly well for the loss of blue due to the smoke. But the smoke put a haze over the cluster I was only sort of successful removing.

The cluster was discovered by William Herschel on September 21, 1788. His or Dreyer\'s description read reads \"A cluster of triple stars, a little compressed\". I can see a nice triangle of stars that fit that description but the other triples are a bit of a mystery. The orange star dominates yet wasn\'t mentioned. While it is in the second H400 program my notes from that are lost and I never looked at it again.

Most list this cluster as being just the area of the bright stars in my image I suspect there\'s a background of fainter stars lost to my smoke. I do see a lot of faint stars that barely made it through my smoke to the lower right of the cluster. They\'d be too faint for Herschel to have seen and likely have nothing to do with the cluster. SIMBAD suggests it might be a double cluster with NGC 7086 which is some 4 degrees away and by WEBDA about 1000 light-years more distant. I took that one 6 years ago.

The annotated image shows a second star cluster\'s location that while closer to the area of fainter stars is still mostly north of what I\'d wondered was a cluster. I can\'t find anything on it. Two dark nebulae are also in the image. LDN 1000 seems to be well west of where SIMBAD puts it. I put the label atop the location which doesn\'t seem as obscured as the region to the west. At the very bottom of the image is the very top of LDN 999 which does appear to match its location, just that I put most of out of my frame.

14\" LX200R @ f/10, L=4x10\' RGB=3x10\', STL-11000XM, Paramount ME

Rick