Messier 35 and NGC 2158   HOME INDEX BACK NEXT

Open Clusters in Gemini

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Messier 35 is the large group of bright stars on the left side of this image. It contains well over 100 bright stars, and it is an impressive sight through a telescope with a low-power eyepiece. The cluster is about 2700 light years away. Just 15 arc minutes to the southwest (to the right in this image) is a dense open cluster, NGC 2158, which appears smaller and dimmer than Messier 35 because it is about five times further away. Through a small telescope, the dim stars of NGC 2158 cannot be resolved, and the cluster appears as a faint circular glow on the outskirts of Messier 35. With my 18-inch Dobsonian and a high-power eyepiece, many of the individual stars of NGC 2158 can be resolved, and it makes a fascinating comparison with the much brighter Messier 35.

Magnitude 5.3
Apparent Size 25'
Distance (light yrs) 2,800
Right Ascension 6:09.1
Declination +24 21

Image details:  17 images, each 60 seconds at ISO 1600, taken with a Canon 400D camera through a Meade 12” telescope at f/5.4.

January 2009