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Can anyone suggest some nice clusters?


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Mrs Smartie loves a good open cluster and I was hoping to take a look at some with her this evening.  We've looked at M35, M44, double cluster in Perseus, Pleiades, M36/7/8 (which I always struggle to find). 

She does have a fairly short attention span, so it helps if I can find them reasonably quickly.  Can anyone recommend any other relatively easy to find clusters, either open or globular?

Pete

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  • NGC 457 - The Owl cluster
  • NGC 7789 - Caroline's Rose.

Both in Cassiopeia and easy to find.

Messier 3 - if you have a clear view east. Gets higher the later you can wait up. As does:

M13 - the great cluster in Hercules. Probably a bit low unless you want to wait until 2-3 am. 

Edited by Pixies
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Brilliant, many thanks both.  Yes I'd forgotten the Owl Cluster - saw that the other day but Mrs S hasn't seen it yet, so I'll revisit tonight.

M3 might be tricky, as I have tall trees to the east, but I'll keep my eyes open.  Cassiopeia should be nicely visible, M39 will be a bit low for my horizon.  NGC 1647 also very possible.

Great stuff, can't wait.

Pete

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How about the Xmas tree cluster, or NGC 1502 at the end of Kemble's cascade? If you have a decent southern view, m46, 47 and 41...

Kev

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13 minutes ago, kev100 said:

How about the Xmas tree cluster, or NGC 1502 at the end of Kemble's cascade? If you have a decent southern view, m46, 47 and 41...

Thanks - they're on the list now!

 

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Thanks once again to all for the sugguestions. 

I had a night of mixed success, as it turned out.  I saw mention of the Blue Snowball, NGC7662 elsewhere on the forum and this fascinated me, so I thought I would attempt to find it.  It wasn't all that easy to locate, but I did manage to pin in down eventually.  I'm very patient, unlike my wife, so I thought if I was going to look for it, I'd better have found it before I called her out.  Amazing (I thought).  Not amazing enough (she said).  So off to find some "space bling" - we took a long look at the Owl Cluster, NGC 457 and of course had to go back to Perseus for another visit to the double cluster there.  NGC 7789 and M52 I struggled with (moonlight was very intrusive and since I still haven't made a light shield for my Heritage dob, was streaming into the secondary mirror).  Deciding I would come back to these later, we looked at M35 and M41, but couldn't find NGC 2129 in Gemini.  Mrs S now retreated indoors claiming to be cold (ha!).

Part 2

After a hot drink, I went back out to try to track down some of the other clusters you good folk had recommended, and maybe try a galaxy or two.  M52 I did pin down, ultimately (very nice), but I really couldn't see anything resembling much of a cluster where I was looking for NGC 7789 (Caroline's Rose) - again maybe that's because of having the moon shining behind me, but I wasn't able to say with confidence I was looking at a cluster there.  I did have a pop at the galaxies M63 and M94, the former I only saw after referencing its position near to a squat T-shape of stars - and suddenly there it was - very dim, but most definitely visible.  I did manage to find NGC 1647 in Taurus, and again, struggled with NGC 2129 in Gemini.  I must've looked for it for at least 20 minutes on and off, waving the scope around in the general vicinity.  Every time I thought I had it, oh no, it's M35 again!  At last, by starting at u Gemininorum, I hopped my way west along the "foot" of Castor, and there it was at the end, quite small and compact, but unmistakeable with a vague cross arrangement of stars within the centre.

Fancying something a bit easier, I then dropped into Canis Major for a look at NGC 2362 and the lovely Winter Albireo, then did a few doubles (Meissa, in Orion, Almach and Algieba), before returning to the Winter Albireo to watch their courtly dance across the night sky.  And then beer.

Pete

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Excellent report and good to see you persevere with your targets! My wife is the same, she prefers something easy and with many stars, and I call her out when I have found things but recently she prefers the warm indoors. You seem to have had an excellent night. Looking forward to more of your reports. I only managed  a quick peak at the moon and obviously mars tonight due to work.Enjoy your well earned🍹.

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I had a similar mixed night as well. I thought atmospheric conditions weren't ideal. Turbulence probably. I spent a lot of time looking at M31 and environs with my 42mm WA.

Sigma Orio cheered me up after failing to get M51 (the moon didn't help) or split Alniatak again.

 

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9 hours ago, oscar_camilleri said:

while looking in the Perseus region, i'm surprised no one mentioned m34.  First time i saw this i couldn't help myself and mouth wow to myself. 

That's one for the list. Thank you!

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On 23/02/2021 at 09:00, Orange Smartie said:

That's one for the list. Thank you!

Also M67 in Cancer S. of the Beehive, a bit fainter but full of red Orange stars and appatently very very old. 

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I was going to say the ET cluster NGC457, but i see it's already been mentioned.....

as a Owl ? ?  All  i can see is ET 😄

You'll have to check it out now O.S. ~ just to see what your brain interprets the pattern as.

 

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I have never seen M51 from home much too much light pollution. M31 unfortunately is now low in the west and will be getting lower, However the summer constellations are rising Lyra, Hercules and Cygnus to name a few and in those there is plenty to look at there in Lyra you have the ring nebula M57 and the double double two stars that are doubles themselves great for checking optics see when you split these. Then in Hercules the great cluster M13 but dont forget the other cluster smaller but still superb M92

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