A Double Open Star Cluster
3879 of 4066

A Double Open Star Cluster

December 2, 2003
Most star clusters are singularly impressive. Open clusters NGC 869 and NGC 884, however, are doubly impressive. Also known as 'h and chi Persei', this unusual double cluster, shown above, is bright enough to be seen from a dark location without even binoculars. Although their discovery surely predates written history, the Greek astronomer Hipparchus notably cataloged the double cluster. The clusters are over 7000 light years distant toward the constellation of Perseus, but are separated by only hundreds of light years.

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