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 impressive open cluster NGC 957 in Perseus is comprised of 30-40 member stars predominantly of magnitude 10-11 and is well-detached from the background sky. The cluster is characterized with an apparent diameter of eleven arc-minutes, lies at a distance of 5,920 light-years away and is quite young with an estimated age of only 11.0 million years old. The cluster is quite easy to locate using low-power magnifications during late fall and winter owing to its brightness and proximity by less than two degrees to the Perseus Double Cluster. NGC 957 was discovered by William Herschel in 1831.
Please click on the image below to display in higher resolution (1200 x 950)
Cr 28, OCL 362
III 2 m
RA / Dec:
02h 33m 24s /
57° 33' 29"
11' x 11'
Nov 04-05, 2008
23:20 - 01:25 UT+2
AP 160 f/7.5 StarFire EDF
AP 1200GTO GEM
SBIG LRGB + IR-block