Open star clusters are widely distributed in our galaxy and represent a loose collection of stars which number from a
few dozen to a few hundred stars and are weakly-held gravitationally. Perhaps the three most famous such open clusters
are the Pleiades (M45) in Taurus, the Beehive (M44) in Cancer and the double cluster in Perseus. They are all
characterized with a handful of hot and white prominent stars and nebular material surrounding these stars.
Note: The open cluster NGC 884 depicted below along with NGC 869 which lies less than one-half of one degree away form the well-known "Double in Perseus". These clusters had been observed in antiquity based on the references by Hipparcus (130 BC). The cluster is estimated to be 3.2 million years old and to span several hundred million light-years in diameter. The brightest member stars include both older red supergiants and younger white hot stars. Both NGC 884 and NGC 869 are best observed using low magnifications (50-100x) and provide a stunning sight within the same field of view. The cluster lies at the midpoint between Perseus and Cassiopeia and is best observed during fall and winter when it is directly overhead around midnight.
Note: For an earlier result from 2006, please click here.
Please click on the image below to display in higher resolution (1200 x 900)
Dbl Cluster in Per
OCL 353, C14, ÷-Per
I 3 r
RA / Dec:
02h 32m 02s /
57° 10' 32"
30' x 30'
Dec 07, 2010
20:00 - 22:05 UT+2
AP 160 f/7.5 StarFire EDF
AP 1200GTO GEM
SBIG LRGB filters
1.16" per pixel