Top 12 Open Clusters

Monday 16 April 2018 - 17:24:24 Posted by  Bobby
 Top Open Clusters
These Open Clusters are all showpieces, presented in the order of their eyepiece impression.
NGC 3532
ngc3532
A huge oblate swarm of fairly equal-magnitude stars. It is one of the three naked-eye open clusters that frame the Eta Carinae Nebula.
The Pleiades
pleiades
Most observers choose the Pleiades as the finest open cluster. A very bright group, it is impressive to the naked eye, and remarkable in binoculars, or a wide field telescope. If it has a weakness, it is that the stars have a wide range of magnitudes.
M11
m11
M11 is another dense swarm of fairly equal-magnitude stars. This show piece also gets many deep sky enthusiasts' votes as the best open cluster to observe.
NGC 3293
3293
NGC 3293--truly delightful.
The Hyades
hyades
From the head of Taurus, a delight in binoculars, or with the unaided eye.
Coma Berenices Star Cluster
comacluster
This is another large group that is best viewed with the unaided eye or binoculars. It is the only deep sky object that forms its own constellation.
NGC 869 & NGC 884
ngc869
Magnificent to see is the double cluster in Perseus, NGCs 869 and 884. While neither would make it into the top 12 alone, the pair are striking together. This was one of the little clouds known to the ancients, and forms Perseus's upraised scimitar.
M7
m7
The unaided eye is drawn to M7 in Scorpius, because it is the third brightest patch in the entire Milky Way. M7 is best observed in wide field telescopes.
NGC 2516
ngc2516
This is another of Carina's many splendors, resembles the Beehive Cluster, but is much richer. Many colored stars highlight this magnificent object.
Beehive Cluster
beehivecluster
The 95 arc-minute-diameter Beehive Cluster, M44 in cancer, boasts several triple stars. This was another of the "little clouds" that has been known since antiquity.
M17
m17
This is another very rich swarm of fairly equal-magnitude stars. An orange star in its center highlights this finest of the Auriga clusters.
NGC 457
ngc457
Finally, NGC 457 is popularly known as the ET Cluster, Airplane Cluster, Owl Cluster or Kachina Doll Cluster.

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