(IAAC) Obj: M35, n2158, ic2157 - Inst: 10x50 binoculars

Observer: Lew Gramer
Your skills: Intermediate
Date and UT of Observation: 1997-12-16/17, 8:00 UT
Location: Whidbey Island, MA, USA (48N)
Site classification: rural
Limiting magnitude: 7.2
Seeing: 2 - good
Moon up: no
Instrument: 10x50 Tasco binoculars
Magnification: 10x
Filters used: None
Object: M35, n2158, ic2157
Category: Open clusters
Constellation: Gem
Data: mag 5.1, 8.6, 8.4  size 28', 5', 7'
RA/DE: 6h08m  +24o20'
M35, the "shoe-buckle" cluster in Gemini, is a lovely
sparkling spectacle even in binoculars. With this good
seeing, some 15 stars of mags 8-10 could be resolved,
with the obvious glow of many more suffused behind.
Also in the same binocular field lie two other open
clusters, NGC 2158 and IC 2157, visible as faintish
blurs, 0.5o to the SW and 2o SSW of M35, respectively.
n2158 seems somewhat the brighter of the two despite
its lower magnitude, being more tightly concentrated.
This seems to be a common binocular illusion with OCs!
E.g., the M36/M37/M38 trio in Aur, or M46/M47 in Mon.

Karen Simmons & Lew Gramer dedalus@alum.mit.edu http://www.tiac.net/users/lewkaren