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Westerhout 55

W55, Sh2-86, LBN 135,
Sometimes catalogued as NGC 6820

Proper NamesNone
Messier NumberNone
NGC/IC NumberSometimes listed as NGC 6820 (a designation more usually applied to a reflection nebula within Westerhout 55)
Other DesignationsWesterhout 55, W55, Sh2-86, LBN 135
Right Ascension19h 43m 12s
Declination+23° 15' 0"
Distancec.6,000 light years
c.1,800 parsecs
MagnitudeNot recorded
DimensionsApparent: 40' x 30'
Actual: 70 x 50 light years (approximate)
Optimum VisibilityJuly / August

Westerhout 55 is an extensive cloud of nebulous material in western Vulpecula, within which several open clusters are embedded. The most prominent of these, near the nebula's centre, is Collinder 405 or NGC 6823. Near the southwestern (lower right) bounds of Westerhout 55, a less prominent cluster, Collinder 404, has illuminated the surrounding gas and dust to create a small reflection nebula, NGC 6820. Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas


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