(IAAC) Obj: NGC 884 & NGC 869 - The Perseus Double Cluster - Inst: 220mm f/5 Newtonian equatorial


Observer: Paul Haworth
Your skills: Intermediate (some years)
Date/time of observation: 1998 April 11/12 - 20:30UT
Location of site: Hamsterley, Co. Durham, England. (Lat , Elev 350m (and very cold!!!!))
Site classification: Rural
Sky darkness: 4.5 <Limiting magnitude>
Seeing: I - II <I-V Seeing Scale (I best)>
Moon presence: Great - full or very near object
Instrument: 220mm f/5 Newtonian equatorial
Magnification: x22 - x88
Filter(s): None
Object(s): NGC 884 & NGC 869 - The Perseus Double Cluster
Category: Open cluster.
Class: Double open cluster
Constellation: Per
Data: mag   size 
Position: RA :  DEC :
At x22 power both objects were surprisingly elusive in the field of
view, which I attributed to the glaring moonlight, gusty winds and
awkward viewing angle.  To the north was NGC 869: at this low power,
only 3 bright stars (1 fainter than the other 2, which both appeared
to have an orangey hue) really stood out in it.  Closer inspection
revealed a faint chain of stars around one of the brighter two, which
vaguely resembled Corona Borealis.  NGC 884 seemed more diffuse, with
less bright stars, but showing a rough Y-shape.
Increasing the power to x44 benefited both clusters; a misty glow
emerged in 869 while the Y-shape of 884 intensified.  The clusters now
filled the field of view completley.
NGC 869 seemed to respond well to the addition of the Barlow (total
x88), producing a glorious field, but 884 was a little disappointing
at this higher power, not revealing any more detail.
Wind prevented a full star count being made.
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