|NGC 2527 "Half-hearted Cluster": Open Star Cluster (Puppis) RA: 08h 04.9m / DEC: -28° 08'.3|
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder
People are good at finding recognizable patterns in nature. That's why there are so many mountains, trees and even animals named after everyday things. We do the same with deep-sky objects in astronomy. There are the Dumbbell nebula, the Great Square of Pegasus, the Owl nebula and many other examples. Let's add one more to the list. NGC 2527 features a striking half-heart asterism, featured in the sketch at left. The drawing presents the view in my 10-inch, f/4.5 reflector at 129X and includes more than 70 stars across a 24' field.
If you take a closer look at the meandering string of 15 stars, which begins at the center of the field with 9.6 magnitude HD 67053, you'll discover they form a familiar shape. The asterism winds southwest over a distance of 4' before gently curving south and east for another 4'. These stars form a half-heart pattern within the star cluster. That's why I call NGC 2527 the "Half-hearted Cluster."
NGC 2527 shines with an integrated visual magnitude of 6.5 and covers a 15' diameter area, according to Lynga. Twenty-three member stars, in addition to those making up the half-heart asterism, are shown in my drawing. The four stars grouped near the south border in my sketch stand just outside the star cluster. The brightest star in my drawing is 8.6 magnitude HD 67097. It is also just beyond the cluster's edge, 5'.5 northeast of HD 67053. Your star hop to NGC 2527 begins at 2.8 magnitude Rho (15) Puppis. Slew 4 degrees south and a skosh west to find the cluster.
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Revised: January 9, 2003 [WDF]