M6 = NGC6405 ( 17h 40.1m -3213, 4.2 mag. )

M6 forms a spectacular pair with M7. These two bright, large open clusters in Scorpius was known since antiquity and M7 was listed by Ptolemy. Messier observed both on May 23, is1764. Both clusters are completely resolved in binoculars.

M6 (top) was identified as an open star cluster by de Cheseaux in 1746 and it is superimposed on Milky Way's equatorial dust cloud. It contains about 80 stars, including red giant east of centre. M6 is located about 1400 ly away and measures 20 ly across. It can be spotted without any optical aid about 5 NEE of l Scorpii (see finder chart below).

The above image represent part of a slide frame taken on May 16, 1996 from Texas Star Party near Fort Davis, TX. 135mm f2.8 telephoto lens was used for this 12 min. exposure on Ektachrome P1600 slide film.

North is toward upper left corner.

The image below was taken on June 3, 2002 from Harrowsmith , Ontario using Cookbook 245 LDC CCD camera on Celestron Ultima 8 f3.0 telescope. It is composed of ten white integrations (30 sec. each) as well as cyan, magenta and yellow-filtered exposures (3 x 30 sec. each) processed with AIP4WIN and Corel PhotoPaint 8.

North is to the right.

Map created in Guide 7.0 - 745' x 745'. North is up.

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Jan Wisniewski