Jump to content
  • Join the online East Midlands astronomy club today!

    With active forums, two dark sites and a knowledgeable membership, East Midlands Stargazers has something for everyone.

Your three best clusters


Recommended Posts

I'm putting together a list of potential targets for my BigBins (100 mm aperture, 550mm focal length).  At the moment I am concentrating on clusters - open or globular - which I should be able to find with my eyepieces, which range from 2.73° to 1.25° True FoV.

What are your three best (favourite) clusters which are not in the Usual Suspects?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love the double cluster in Perseus. You can really pull  out some belting colours. Hardly unknown but not M13 or the Pleiades I guess! You're going to be pushing it to fit it in a 550mm but I think the image below was 464mm from memory.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like Steve, i like M37, but i find you need about 150x mag to show it at its best, which is maybe too much juice for your binoculars.

I also really like the beehive M44 and the wild duck, M11.


But i guess these are all in the 'usual suspects' category.


Its knowing which ones are best, that don't need big aperture and overly high power.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's the list of 31 clusters I finally came up with.  It will be interesting to see which ones I can actually bag with the BigBins.


name                            catalogue            mag       arcmin

Hyades                         Caldwell 41          0.50        330

Pleiades                         Messier 45          1.50        120

Coma Star cluster            Melotte 111        1.79        120

Coathanger                    Collinder 399        3.59        89

Ptolemy's cluster             Messier 7            3.29        80

Beehive cluster               Messier 44          3.09        70

                                   Messier 35          5.09        40

                                   Messier 41          4.50        39

                                   IC 4756             4.59        39

                                   Messier 34          5.19        35

                                   Messier 22          5.09        32

Wild Duck cluster             Messier 11          5.80        32

Rosette cluster               NGC 2244          4.80        29

Caroline's Rose               NGC 7789          6.69        25

Butterfly cluster              Messier 6           4.19        20

Hercules cluster              Messier 13          5.78        20

                                  Messier 46          6.09        20

Owl cluster                    NGC 457            6.40        20

                                  Messier 55         6.32        19

                                  NGC 129            6.50        19

Double cluster                NGC 884            6.09        18

                                  Messier 15          6.19        18

                                  NGC 188            8.10        17

Lagoon cluster               NGC 6530          4.59        14

                                  Messier 50         5.90        14

                                  Messier 92         6.44        14

                                  NGC 663           7.09        14

Markarian's Chain           Messier 86         8.79        11

                                  Messier 93         6.19        10

                                  Messier 80         7.32        10

Tau Canis Majoris cluster  NGC 2362          3.79        5


(data from Sky Safari 6)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another good one i like to look at Bryan, is the '37' cluster. And its my age as well ! 😉

AKA,  NGC 2169.  Not too far away from Orion, so right now is the best time to see it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for that Rob.  It's a bit on the small side, but I'll give it a go.

Here's my current cluster hunting setup, with 29X, 61X and 82X eyepieces:


The Semi-Apo filters took some finding, but first use shows they are just what the BigBins need to tidy up the view, so worth the expense.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.