NGC 869
DSS image of NGC 869
Overlaid DSS image of NGC 869, 60' x 60' with north at top and west to the right

Aladin viewer for the region around NGC 869
Double Cluster
H VI 33, h 207, GC 512, Melotte 13, Mel 13, Collinder 24, Cr 24

Type  Open Cluster
Magnitude  4
Size  30'
Right Ascension  2h 18' 57.7"  (2000)
Declination  57° 7' 18" N
Constellation  Perseus
Description  Cl, vvL, vRi, *7...14
Classification  I 3 r
Observing Notes

Andrew Cooper
Sep 30, 2005    Gila, New Mexico (map)
90mm F/12 APO Violet Haze

The pair is beautiful, two rich concentrations of stars in a rich galactic star field, visible to the unaided eye, very nice in 9x63 binoculars, absolutely beautiful in the 90mm scope, NGC884 is larger, sparser, a bright clump with a dim haze interwoven, NGC869 is brighter with a couple bright blues dominating, a little color in the stars but nothing I would call 'ruby' or 'garnet' after Smyth, a nice orange in the space between the clusters

Andrew Cooper
Sep 28, 2002    Kitt Peak, AZ (map)
25cm f/10 SCT

Large! Bright! Rich! concentrated, visible to the unaided eye, several hundred members in an even cluster, round, rich star field with NGC884 visible in the same field

Rev. T.W. Webb
May 19, 1885    Hardwick, Herefordshire, England (map)
94mm f/18 Tully Achromat

These two gorgeous clusters, described by Sm. as 'affording together one of the most brilliant telescopic objects in the heavens,' are visible to the naked eye as a protuberant part of the Galaxy, and so H. considers them. They are often called The Sword Hand of Perseus. With 64 these superb masses are visible together, as well as a bright part north. 5-1/2in. showed a red star between them. Smyth mentions a ruby and a garnet in NGC884. 9-1/3in. shows 5 stars in all. T.T. Smith sees 8. Es. sees 9 in the cluster and outliers, all very similar in color, and spectrum (faint III type). The red stars are all associated with NGC884. Adams finds that all the brighter stars in the cluster have nearly the same radial velocity. Follow the curve of stars north, which leads to the glorious region at 2h 6m, N. 58° 55' [Stock 2].
― Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes, T. W. Webb, 1917

Captain William Henry Smyth
Oct 12, 1836    No. 6 The Crescent, Bedford, England (map)
150mm f/17.6 refractor by Tully 1827

A delicate double star, in the glorious cluster of Perseus's weapon hand. A 8, white; B 10, pale grey. This brilliant mass of stars, from 7th to 15th magnitudes, fills the whole field of view, and emits a peculiarly splendid light. In the centre is a coronet, or rather ellipse, of small stars, above an 8th-magnitude one, which, with its np comes., is here measured.

The 7th-magnitude star which follows, is handsome from the blackness of the space immediately around it. A line from the lucida, or Algenib, carried to δ Cassiopeae, passes over this brilliant assemblage, at two-thirds the distance.

Sir William Herschel considered it a protuberant part of the Milky Way, in which it is situated; and analogy indicates that it is comparatively near.

This is followed by another gorgeous group of stars [NGC 884], from the 7th to the 15th magnitudes, at about 3', and nearly on the parallel. It is H VI 34. The components gather most towards the centre, but there is little disposition to form; the sprinkle, however, is in a direction parallel to the equator.

One of the central individuals is of a fine ruby colour, and a 7th-magnitude in the nf is of a pale garnet tint; with two sparkling but minute triplets south of it. These two clusters are quite distinct, though the outliers of each may be brought into the same field under rather high powers; and, on the best nights, the groups and light are truly admirable, affording together one of the most brilliant telescopic objects in the heavens. It is impossible to contemplate them and not infer, that there are other laws of aggregation than those which obtain among the more scattered and insulated stars.
― A Cycle of Celestial Objects Vol II, The Bedford Catalogue, William Henry Smyth, 1844
Other Data Sources for NGC 869
Nearby objects for NGC 869
5 objects found within 60'
8 Persei Chi Persei FZ Per
NGC 884 RS Persei

Drawings, descriptions, and CCD photos are copyright Andrew Cooper unless otherwise noted, no usage without permission.

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NGC 869