The famous double cluster in Perseus is one the night sky’s finest jewels. NGC 869 and 884 are a pair of bright and large open clusters embedded in the faint glow of the Milky Way. The double cluster is visible without optical aid but binoculars are required to separate the two clusters, which are half a degree apart. A richfield telescope gives the best view of the Double Cluster, with many stars of differing brightness visible. NGC 869 is more tightly packed than NGC 884. Both clusters are about 7000 light years away and are part of the Perseus arm, one of the spiral arms of our Milky Way. The two clusters are a few hundred light years apart.
|Scope||Zenithstar 80 ED & meade 6.3 fr|
|Exposure Info||2 hours exposure time (12x5min & 6x10min). Center crop|
|Date||November 17, 2006|
|Copyright||Photo copyright Thomas Kerns, Beluga Lake Observatory|