NGC 869  &  NGC 884

Alt. Designations: NGC 869
Object Type: open cluster
Constellation: Perseus
Distance: 7 kly
Right Ascension: 02h 19m 00.0s
Declination: +57° 07´ 42"
Visual Magnitude: 5.3
Apparent Dimension: 18.0´ Dia.
Best Month To View: Nov

Some 7,000 light-years away, this pair of open or galactic star clusters is an easy binocular target, a lovely starfield in the northern constellation Perseus. Also visible to the unaided eye from dark sky areas. It was cataloged in 130 BC by Greek astronomer Hipparchus. Now known as h and chi Persei, or NGC 869(above right) and NGC 884, the clusters themselves are separated by only a few hundred light-years and contain stars much younger and hotter than the Sun, NGC 869 being 5.6 million years old, and NGC 884 being 3.2 million years old.