The Binocular Sky


NGC 884 and NGC 869 (the Perseus Double Cluster)

Constellation: Per
Object Type: Open Cluster
RA:  2h 21m 7s
Dec:  +57° 8' 2"
Magnitude: 5.3
Recommended minimum aperture: 50mm

Charts for 50mm Binocular (5° aperture circle).   Click on a chart to print it.


The Perseus Double Cluster is often visible to the naked eye but, if it is not, follow a line from γ to δ Cassiopeiae for a distance beyond δ Cas to 1½ times the distance between the stars, towards η Per.

What You Should See:

This pair of clusters in the sword handle of Perseus is a superb target, even in relatively small binoculars. There are several orange-red stars and these, combined with the varying brightness of the other stars, give it a three dimensional appearance. To get an idea of the intrinsic brightness of thes stars that you see here, if our Sun was at the same distance as the Double Cluster, it would be far too faint to be seen in a 10×50 binocular. It is worth scanning the region around the Double Cluster, as it is very rich in open clusters. The chain of stars to the NNW, for example, leads to Stock 2, otherwise known as the Muscleman Cluster, on the border of Perseus and Cassiopeia.

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