Messier 52, Open Cluster

Messier 52. Image Credit: Siggi Kohlert
Messier 52:Messier 52 is a tight open cluster in the constellation Cassiopeia the Queen. At 5,000 light years away Messier 52 is only magnitude 7.3 but penetrates light pollution and moonlit skies. Revealed in binoculars or small telescopes, Messier 52 has around 200 members of varying age. It seems that this cluster had 2 main stages of star formation: the first where larger stars were formed and during the second smaller stars were formed. Messier 52 can be found by drawing a line through Alpha and Beta Cassiopeia towards the constellation Cepheus. Scanning along this line Messier 52 will pop into your binocular/finderscope view. This cluster shows more and more stars with bigger aperture but looks good in even the smallest of instruments. How many stars can you see?

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