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NGC 869 & 884
Object Information:

NGC 869 & 884 - The Double Cluster in Perseus

Distance - 7,000 light years.

The two dense groupings of stars in the image above are known as open clusters [sometimes also known as a "galactic cluster"]. Open clusters are believed to originate in the same general area of space from the same local gas clouds.

The famous double cluster in Perseus was known in historic times (probably even pre-historically), and first cataloged by the Greek astronomer Hipparcos.

Both clusters are situated in the Perseus OB 1 association, and also only a few hundred light-years apart, at a distance of over 7000 light years. They are both quite young: NGC 869 is listed at 5.6, NGC 884 at 3.2 million years (Sky Catalog 2000); their hottest main sequence stars are of spectral type B0. They are approaching us at 22 (NGC 869) and 21 (NGC 884) km/sec, respectively.

Here is a slightly enlarged and cropped view:

NGC 869 & 884 

Image date:

October 26, 2016

Exposure Information:

An RGB combined image of 30 min. per color channel.

Imaged at:

San Diego Astronomy Association site at Tierra del Sol, San Diego County, CA

Equipment:

Takahashi Epsilon 160, SBIG STT-8300M, Astro-Physics AP 900