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Let's talk clusters!

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23 replies to this topic

#1 Dave_L

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 10:27 PM

Howdy all! I am doing some outreach astronomy next week and I am looking for some good targets that will be easy for a mixed audience to observe. Ideally, the objects should be easy to see, so really faint fuzzies are probably a no go. A few months ago, my go to objects were big spectacular clusters like  Butterfly cluster (M6), Ptolemy cluster (M7) and Wild Duck luster (M11). I think this time of year I can get the Double Cluster (NGC 869 and NGC 884) in Perseus. Any other suggestions for easy to see "eye candy" type of stuff? Thank you all for the camaraderie and great advice that I always find here on Cloudy Nights.


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#2 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 11:20 PM

What scope will you be using? How wide is the TFoV? What's the time period?

 

NGC 752 is a large, 1.25 degree cluster in Andromeda. There's M103 in Cassiopeia, Caroline's Rose in Cassiopeia.. M34 is a smaller cluster.  There's Stock 2, a large cluster with a "trail" of stars leading from double cluster.

 

The Pleiades are at about 30 degrees by 9 pm....

 

That's a few for you.

 

Jon


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#3 aeajr

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 11:28 PM

I see you have several scopes.  Which one do you plan to use?

 

What are your observing conditions?

 

I happen to be partial to globular clusters if you are going to show DSOs. Especially if you are using a 6" or larger scope and can apply some magnification.  I describe them to children as fireworks star clusters because they look like the big flower bursts.

 

Here are some I would consider, depending on your location and the time you will be showing.

 

M15 - Globular cluster in Pegasus

M2

M71 - Angelfish Cluster

M92

 

I do a lot with Asterisms and binoculars at outreach

 

Vega, point out the Double Double to mark and confirm Vega

Vega, Deneb, Altair - Summer Triangle

Deneb to Albiero - The Northern Cross

Mizar/Alcor Double in the Big Dipper

Pleiades Cluster

Mel 20 Cluster

The Coat Hanger

 

Hope that helps


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#4 NorthernlatAK

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 11:56 PM

Don't forget ngc 457, E.T. or owl cluster. One of my faves. Cassiopeia is full of open clusters down through Auriga and into Gemini. No shortage of bright open clusters in the winter milky way...
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#5 PNW

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Posted 02 November 2019 - 12:41 AM

In Cygnus: M 39, M 29 (cooling tower), Omicron 1, and NGC 6871. They're all open clusters in rich star fields with plenty of doubles. While you're there, don't forget Albiero. Try picking one of the double cluster and magnify up.



#6 Traveler

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Posted 02 November 2019 - 01:38 AM

A very nice guide for star clusters:

 

https://www.willbell...K/starclusters/

 

Highly recommended.


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#7 Astro-Master

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Posted 02 November 2019 - 01:42 AM

Take a look at Saturn first as soon as it is visible, its always a crowd pleaser.  Some of the brighter open clusters in the northern part of the sky, far from the Moon's glow.

 

Next week the moon will be at first quarter on the 4th and full on the 11th.  The moon is a great target for outreach, its big and its bright, and shows more surface detail than any object in the sky.

 

Double stars are another good target when the Moon is bright.

.


Edited by Astro-Master, 02 November 2019 - 01:46 AM.


#8 chrysalis

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Posted 02 November 2019 - 07:29 AM

Seconding NGC457 Cassiopeia! Possibly also M103.

 

M34 Perseus

 

If late enough, Auriga is good - M36-M37-M38-others


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#9 MP173

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Posted 02 November 2019 - 07:59 AM

The NGC 1502 in Cameleopardalis is one I recently found.  It is at the base of Kemble's Cascade and is a stunning open cluster with nice doubles.

 

If binoculars are available, go to Mel 20 (Perseus) and Hyades in Taurus.  Move from binoculars in Hyades to a telescope and check out the double triangle just west of Aldebaron.

 

Ed



#10 trapdoor2

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Posted 02 November 2019 - 09:38 AM

We had an impromptu outreach 'star party' after last nights astro-club meeting. I had the only binos (and tripod) but I ended up with a line of folks to see the Pleiades and the Alpha Persei Cluster (Mel 20). Both were bright and beautiful.


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#11 2696

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Posted 02 November 2019 - 09:50 AM

I agree with everyone suggesting the Owl Cluster, it's really a beautiful cluster. Not sure how you feel about M57 but it's quite easy to see and in decent conditions it's real nice. Pleiades is always great. I know you said faint fuzzies are pretty much a no go, but Andromeda is nice just so people can say they saw a galaxy.. I also agree with the double star suggestion, I think they're really interesting.
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#12 aeajr

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Posted 02 November 2019 - 10:54 AM

Add another for NGC457, the Owl/Scorpion cluster in the telescope.

 

One of the double cluster members, I can't recall which, has a star formation that looks, to me, like a man.  I call him the man in the double.  That can be fun at outreach.   


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#13 NYJohn S

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Posted 03 November 2019 - 08:13 AM

With binoculars or a wide field scope - CR70 with the belt stars, Mel 25, Mel 20, M45. If you're out late enough M35 is nice with a telescope.



#14 REC

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Posted 03 November 2019 - 11:44 AM

With binoculars or a wide field scope - CR70 with the belt stars, Mel 25, Mel 20, M45. If you're out late enough M35 is nice with a telescope.

Also M36,37, 38 in Auriga.


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#15 Dave_L

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Posted 03 November 2019 - 11:00 PM

Wow! Thank you everyone for the great suggestions! I'll be using the NextStar 8SE for this one. Maybe the CPC1100 if I have the minivan! LOL. 



#16 mac57

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 08:07 PM

I like to play with different mags with the Wild Duck cluster.  Depending on seeing, clouds, water vapor, etc...  A ton of stars.  Mark


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#17 chrysalis

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 05:54 AM

The NGC 1502 in Cameleopardalis is one I recently found.  It is at the base of Kemble's Cascade and is a stunning open cluster with nice doubles.

 

If binoculars are available, go to Mel 20 (Perseus) and Hyades in Taurus.  Move from binoculars in Hyades to a telescope and check out the double triangle just west of Aldebaron.

 

Ed

To me the visual appearance of NGC1502 and M103 are quite similar.



#18 kfiscus

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 05:23 PM

A fun cluster is NGC 2169, aka "the 37 Cluster" in northern Orion.  The two digits "3" and "7" really stand out.


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#19 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 08:52 PM

Here are a few others: NGC 663 in Cassiopeia, NGC 1528 in Perseus, NGC 1647 and NGC 1746 (which is actually an asterism) in Taurus, and NGC 7243 in Lacerta.


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#20 tchandler

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 10:02 PM

So? How’d it go
The real star of outreach is you. And people like you, who just enjoy sharing a little of their enthusiasm.
I know that sounds a bit cloying. But, you likely get it.
 


Edited by tchandler, 07 November 2019 - 10:04 PM.


#21 hiMike

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Posted 08 November 2019 - 07:33 PM

Don't forget ngc 457, E.T. or owl cluster. 

This one is always good for some "wow" comments, but ya gotta show people what to look for by stretching your arms out and making the wing shapes before people look to really sell it ;)

Also really helps to have halfway decent skies



#22 j.gardavsky

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 05:17 AM

Through the binoculars and richest field telescopes, my choice of the season is:

 

M39 in Cygnus

The Double Cluster

NGC 1502 hanging on the Kemble's Cascade

The Alpha Persei Moving Group Melotte 20

The spiral cluster M34 with its doubles

The Messiers in Auriga/Gemini

The Pleiades

 

Best,

JG


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#23 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 05:41 AM

I like to play with different mags with the Wild Duck cluster.  Depending on seeing, clouds, water vapor, etc...  A ton of stars.  Mark

:waytogo:

 

The Wild Duck is one of those clusters that has many different personalities depending on the magnification as well as the aperture. It's one I viewed countless times when on was just starting out and one of my favorites.

 

In binos it's just a bright fuzzy spot. In a smaller telescope, it has those tiny pinpoints that are resolved as magnification is increased.

 

In a large telescope, those faint stars are now much brighter, I calculate about 3.5 magnitudes between my 4 inch and the 22 inch. The stars a now "in your face" and seem to have a row and column alignment, it's very intriguing. 

 

Jon


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#24 Sxa

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Posted Yesterday, 10:33 PM

Hyaded and alpha perseus association

Also that fried egg looking one down s. With the big star in front. Looks like an eye, I'll recover the name from my notes later, sorry


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