Collinder 399 (the Coathanger Cluster) and NGC 6802   HOME INDEX BACK NEXT
 

Asterism and Open Cluster in Vulpecula

At magnitude 3.6, the Coathanger, also known as Brocchi's Cluster, is not difficult to see with the naked eye. Because it covers about 1 degree of sky, the best view is through binoculars, through which its distinctive shape can be readily seen (though it is upside down for Northern Hemisphere observers).
It is not known for sure whether this group is a true cluster or simply a chance alignment of stars.

The dimmer and much more distant open cluster NGC 6802 can be seen just to the right of the Coathanger in this image. NGC 6802 contains a few dozen stars in an elongated rectangular shape.

Image details:  10 images, each 60 seconds at ISO 1600, taken with a Canon 400D camera and a Tokina 500 mm lens. 

October 2008