The constellation Scutum contains one of the most interesting star clouds in our galaxy, M11. This cluster of about 600 bright stars and hundreds of fainter stars was discovered in 1681 by Gottfried Kirsch.
There are many yellow stars and red giants in this open cluster located more than 5,000 light years from Earth. According to Robert Garfinkle, Admiral William Henry Smyth, RN said the cluster resembles a flight of wild ducks, so it got stuck with the name “The Wild Duck Cluster.”
M11, The Wild Duck Cluster, is the featured object tonight at the public observing session at Cline Observatory. Located on the Jamestown Campus of GTCC, Cline Observatory is open to the public, free of charge, every clear Friday night.
In the summer, observing sessions begin about 30 minutes after sunset, so the program should begin around 9:00 and last until about 11:00.
About this time last year we were installing the new 24-inch telescope. Come out and enjoy the beauty. So far, 24,837 guests have visited the Observatory since First Light in 1997.