Pictures of the Owl Cluster
A guide to NGC 457, also known as the Owl Cluster, and images of the target captured by amateur astrophotographers.
Caldwell 13 or NGC 457 is a beautiful open star cluster in the constellation Cassiopeia that's known as the Owl Cluster.
The star cluster is also sometimes called the 'ET Cluster', given its supposed similarity in appearance to the famous extra-terrestrial in Steven Spielberg's famous sci-fi film.
The Owl Cluster is located 7,900 lightyears away and is thought to have formed about 20 million years ago.
The Owl Cluster was discovered in 1787 by astronomer William Herschel and is a favourite target of astronomers obsvering the region around Cassiopeia with a telescope.
NGC 457 is an example of an open star cluster. Open star clusters are somewhat different from globular clusters, which are some of the oldest objects in the Universe.
Firstly, open star clusters are much younger - less than 10 billion years old - and secondly, they contain hundreds or thousands of stars, whereas globular clusters can contain up to hundreds of thousands.
Below is a selection of images of the Owl Cluster captured by BBC Sky at Night Magazine readers and astrophotographers.