Winter open clusters

NGC1662 is an open cluster in Orion. It has been discovered by William Herschel in 1784. Lies about 1400 light years from Earth, and with apparent magnitude 6.4mag and apparent diameter about 15 arc minutes is nice target for binoculars and small telescopes. There are not too many stars in this cluster (about 30-40 in the 15′ diameter). Image below was made with Meade ACF 10″ telescope and QHY163M camera on EQ6 mount. It is mere 35 minutes of exposures with RGB filters and 60s subframes. 

NGC1662 open cluster in Orion

And second open cluster is much reacher, but also much more distant NGC2420 in Gemini. This one has of course been discovered by William Herschel as well, but in 1783. It lies about 8100 light years away, has apparent diameter 6 arc minutes and apparent brightness 8.3mag. The nice thing in this area is, that there is very low concentration of interstellar matter in this direction, so there are distant galaxies visible “through” the cluster. But it requires more exposure time, and I made only 70 minutes with RGB filters in 120s subframes. Both images were made under suburban sky, with good transparency, but poor seeing.

NGC2420 open cluster in Gemini

Clear skies!

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