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Messier 26 - Open Cluster in Scutum | Astrophotography Tips & Pictures

Messier 26 is an open cluster in the constellation Scutum. It is small and best photographed with a telescope that has a long focal length. You can also do like us and capture it widefield in order to try revealing the surrounding gasses in the whole field of view. In this post, you will find information, images, and tips to photograph Messier 26.

Object Designation: M26, NGC 6694

Also known as: N/A

Constellation: Scutum

Object Type: Open Cluster

Distance: 5,160 light-years away

Magnitude: 8.0

Discovery: Charles Messier on June 20th, 1764

The M26 cluster is easy to capture if you are a beginner astrophotographer as there is nothing challenging about it both during imaging and processing. Being in Scutum, M26 is best observed during the Summer months.


Messier 26 and Messier 11 Mosaic Astrophotography

August 2023

After doing a 4-panel mosaic on Rho Ophiuchi, I wanted to do another mosaic but wasn't sure on which target to pick. I decided to go with M11 and M26 as they are both close to each other and were getting lower and lower on the horizon.

I did a 2-panel mosaic using my equipment setup at Utah Desert Remote Observatories. I only spent 4 hours per panel meaning 8 hours in total, which was enough thanks to the dark Bortle 2 skies of the observatory location!

The result looks really cool, with lots of dark Milky Way clouds visible in the background. Be sure to check the full-resolution image by clicking on the picture below!

M11 to M26 mosaic astrophotography


Camera: ZWO ASI2600MC

Telescope: Celestron RASA 8

Mount: 10Micron GM1000 HPS

Processing: Pixinsight, with R-C Astro plugins. Final touches in Skylum Luminar Neo


Total Exposure Time: 8 hours