|NGC 869 & NGC 884 "Double Cluster": Open Star Clusters (Perseus) RA: 02h 20.7m / DEC: +57° 08'.4|
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder
The Double Cluster is an icon of the northern sky. It is a pairing of open star clusters sandwiched between Perseus and Cassiopeia. Easily visible to the unaided eye, the application of too much magnification will simply ruin the view. My 10-inch, f/4.5 Newtonian is capable of producing a sharp, 1.5-degree true field at 36X. This is the view presented in the sketch at left. NGC 869 is west of center and NGC 884 is east of center. NGC 869 is a 5.3 magnitude object with 150 stars dusted across a 29' area, according to Lynga. Its neighbor t to the east is similar in size but slightly fainter at 6.1 magnitude. My sketch shows NGC 869 anchored by 6.7 magnitude HD 14143 and, 2'.5 to the southwest, 6.6 magnitude HD 14134. 6.0 magnitude 7 Persei, 23'.5 to the northwest, lies just outside the cluster's border. NGC 884 is anchored by several 6th and 7th magnitude stars, including 6.4 magnitude HD 14433. My sketch records well over 100 stars, most of which belong to one or the other of these beautiful clusters. Don't miss this northern showpiece.
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Revised: March 17, 2002 [WDF]