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: Open cluster NGC 1502 in the constellation of Camelopardalis illustrated below is a very young but bright cluster dominated by a handful of magnitude 7 and 8 member stars and including a close bright binary pair (SAO 13031, mag 6.95; SAO 13030, mag 7.08) and within two degrees of the bright red star SAO 12968 (mag 5.07, B-V +1.664). Lying at a distance of 2,680 light-years away, NGC 1502 is estimated to be a mere 11.2 million years old. Comprised of approximately 50 member stars spanning approximately 8 arc-minutes in diameter, this cluster is very well detached from the background sky owing to the number of bright member stars at the core. NGC 1502 is best observed during winter and early spring when it is furthest north of the celestial pole at the end of astronomical twilight and thereafter.
Please click on the image below to display in higher resolution (1200 x 900)
Cr 45, OCL 383
I 3 m
RA / Dec:
04h 07m 47s /
62° 19' 50"
8' x 8'
Jan 11, 2008
20:30 - 23:20 UT+2
AP 160 f/7.5 StarFire EDF
AP 1200GTO GEM
SBIG LRGB + IR-block