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NGC 6830

A sparse open cluster that stands against the band of the Milky Way as it passes through the constellation of Vulpecula the Fox. Within the band of the Milky Way at this point in its circuit of the skies is a darker band known as the Great Rift, and it is against this the background of this rift that NGC 6830 can be found. This cluster lies close in the sky to the famous Dumbbell Nebula (NGC 6853), though at a distance of some 4,800 light years, NGC 6830 is in fact almost five times farther from the Solar System than that planetary nebula.

NGC 6830 is not a prominent cluster, and at eighth magnitude it is far too faint to be detected by the naked eye. A scattered, diffuse collection of blue stars occupying a region of space less than twenty light years across, this meagre cluster can be difficult to distinguish against the dense background stars of the Milky Way beyond.