Top 125 most beautiful Open Clusters


The Coldfield Observatory

 
The Open Clusters in order of Right Ascension
The Open Clusters in the constellations
The descriptions
 

This Top 125 list gives you the easiest and most beautiful open clusters of the night sky, quickly found in your telescope. This is not, like many other lists, an extract from a database filtering the brightest open clusters. It is a summary of 125 open clusters easily spotted, and those with attractive star chains, or with starless paths running thru it.

Some clusters only show a star chain, e.g. the fine NGC 2252 next to the Rosette Nebula. And since open clusters mostly lie in the Milky Way stroke, only those are taken if they are easily recognized in the otherwise rich star field. Many clusters are found near Monoceros and Puppis, since we look there thru the dustfree outer regions of our Milky Way spiral arm. Also a great count of star members is a factor. Once you discover the clusters containing a huge amount of starlights, e.g. Messier 11 in Scutum gathers more than 500 stars, you will be amazed. Sometimes, a first impression reveals only a few stars, but higher magnifications and darker skies resolve surprisingly a lot of members. A great example is NGC 6755 in Aquila.

All 125 open clusters from this list are observed by the author, equiped with a 6 inch f8 Newtonian reflector. The magnification used was never higher than 80x. All open clusters are not below the declination of -15.

Open Clusters are pretty nice objects against the black sky for every observer. They are the easiest objects. The huge naked eye open clusters are omitted in this list, but are still remarkable. Of course they belong to the closest clusters for us. The Hyades in Taurus are the closest, only 150 lightyears away. Then follows the star group of Melotte 111 in Coma Berenices, the Pleiades in Taurus, and the Beehive Cluster M44 in Cancer. In fact, the group M44 and the Hyades came out a same giant star association. The Pleiades are magnificent, since the dust and gas clouds in which the bright stars were born, are still visible around these stars.

After many million years, the stars of an open cluster go their own way, so the group becomes less concentrated. However, NGC 188 in Cepheus still captured his many members together, and already has an age of 5 billion years now. Other very old clusters seem to be the most curious. NGC 2158, a beautiful small neighbour of the great cluster M35, is 3 billion years old. The real sizes of open clusters always differ, but the 2 groups of the well known Double Cluster Chi and h Persei should be the biggest ones, with distances of 70 lightyears. On the other hand, some clusters are very small, but they include very bright supergiants of stars. In the marvelous tiny M29 of Cygnus, a knot of five brilliant lights can be glimpsed. Another one is NGC 2129 in Gemini, two bright giants are very obvious.

There is no doubt, photographs never bring the astonishing spectacle, like an observer feels thru his telescope. You only see gray disks of different sizes on a photograph, while amazing twinkling points with all kinds of brightnesses, glitter right in the middle of your ocular. Some clusters also contain orange colored stars.

 
  The 125 Open Clusters from 00h 00m to 23h 59m R.A. :
Name R.A. Dec.  
 
NGC 133 00h31.2 63d22  
NGC 146 00h33.1 63d18  
NGC 189 00h39.6 61d04  
NGC 225 00h43.4 61d47  
NGC 188 00h44.4 85d20  
NGC 381 01h08.3 61d35  
NGC 436 01h15.6 58d49  
NGC 457 01h19.1 58d20  
NGC 559 01h29.5 63d18  
M 103 01h33.2 60d42  
NGC 637 01h42.9 64d00  
NGC 654 01h44.1 61d53  
NGC 659 01h44.2 60d42  
NGC 663 01h46.0 61d15  
NGC 752 01h57.8 37d41  
NGC 744 01h58.4 55d29  
NGC 869 02h19.0 57d09  
NGC 884 02h22.4 57d07  
NGC 956 02h32.5 44d36  
NGC 957 02h33.6 57d32  
M 34 02h42.0 42d47  
NGC 1027 02h42.7 61d33  
NGC 1245 03h14.7 47d15  
NGC 1342 03h31.6 37d20  
NGC 1502 04h07.7 62d20  
NGC 1513 04h10.0 49d31  
NGC 1528 04h15.4 51d14  
NGC 1545 04h20.9 50d15  
NGC 1582 04h32.0 43d51  
NGC 1647 04h46.0 19d04  
NGC 1662 04h48.5 10d56  
NGC 1664 04h51.1 43d42  
NGC 1746 05h03.6 23d49  
NGC 1778 05h08.1 37d03  
NGC 1807 05h10.7 16d32  
NGC 1857 05h20.2 39d21  
NGC 1817 05h21.1 16d42  
NGC 1893 05h22.7 33d24  
NGC 1907 05h28.0 35d19  
M 38 05h28.7 35d50  
NGC 1981 05h35.2 -04d26  
M 36 05h36.1 34d08  
M 37 05h52.4 32d33  
NGC 2129 06h01.0 23d18  
NGC 2126 06h03.0 49d54  
NGC 2158 06h07.5 24d06  
NGC 2169 06h08.4 13d57  
M 35 06h08.9 24d20  
NGC 2186 06h12.2 05d27  
NGC 2194 06h13.8 12d48  
NGC 2215 06h21.0 -07d17  
NGC 2232 06h26.6 -04d45  
NGC 2236 06h29.7 06d50  
NGC 2244 06h32.4 04d52  
NGC 2251 06h34.7 08d22  
NGC 2252 06h35.0 05d23  
NGC 2264 06h41.1 09d53  
NGC 2266 06h43.2 26d58  
NGC 2281 06h49.3 41d04  
NGC 2301 06h51.8 00d28  
NGC 2302 06h51.9 -07d04  
NGC 2311 06h57.8 -04d35  
M 50 07h03.2 -08d20  
NGC 2324 07h04.2 01d03  
NGC 2331 07h07.2 27d21  
NGC 2343 07h08.3 -10d39  
NGC 2345 07h08.3 -13d10  
NGC 2353 07h14.6 -10d18  
NGC 2355 07h16.9 13d47  
NGC 2360 07h17.8 -15d37  
NGC 2374 07h24.0 -13d16  
NGC 2395 07h27.1 13d35  
M 47 07h36.6 -14d30  
NGC 2420 07h38.5 21d34  
M 46 07h41.8 -14d49  
NGC 2506 08h00.2 -10d47  
NGC 2539 08h10.7 -12d50  
M 48 08h13.8 -05d48  
M 67 08h50.4 11d49  
M 16 18h18.8 -13d47  
NGC 6633 18h27.7 06d34  
NGC 6649 18h33.5 -10d24  
NGC 6664 18h36.7 -08d13  
M 26 18h45.2 -09d24  
M 11 18h51.1 -06d16  
NGC 6709 18h51.5 10d21  
NGC 6738 19h01.4 11d36  
NGC 6755 19h07.8 04d14  
NGC 6756 19h08.7 04d41  
NGC 6800 19h27.2 25d08  
NGC 6802 19h30.6 20d16  
NGC 6811 19h36.9 46d23  
NGC 6819 19h41.3 40d11  
NGC 6823 19h43.1 23d18  
NGC 6830 19h51.0 23d04  
NGC 6834 19h52.2 29d25  
NGC 6866 20h03.8 44d09  
NGC 6882 20h11.7 26d33  
NGC 6910 20h23.1 40d47  
M 29 20h23.9 38d32  
NGC 6939 20h31.4 60d38  
NGC 6940 20h34.6 28d18  
NGC 7062 21h23.2 46d23  
NGC 7063 21h24.4 36d30  
NGC 7082 21h29.4 47d05  
NGC 7086 21h30.5 51d35  
M 39 21h32.2 48d26  
NGC 7129 21h42.8 66d06  
NGC 7128 21h44.0 53d43  
NGC 7142 21h45.9 65d48  
NGC 7160 21h53.7 62d36  
NGC 7209 22h05.2 46d30  
NGC 7235 22h12.6 57d17  
NGC 7245 22h15.3 54d20  
NGC 7243 22h15.3 49d53  
NGC 7261 22h20.4 58d05  
NGC 7380 22h47.0 58d06  
NGC 7419 22h54.3 60d50  
NGC 7510 23h11.5 60d34  
M 52 23h24.2 61d35  
NGC 7686 23h30.2 49d08  
NGC 7762 23h49.8 68d02  
NGC 7788 23h56.7 61d24  
NGC 7789 23h57.0 56d44  
NGC 7790 23h58.4 61d13  
 
  The 125 Open Clusters in the constellations :
   
Perseus
  NGC 884
  NGC 869
  M 34
  NGC 744
  NGC 957
  NGC 1342
  NGC 1528
  NGC 1545
  NGC 1245
  NGC 1513
  NGC 1582
Cassiopeia
  M 52
  M 103
  NGC 7789
  NGC 1027
  NGC 225
  NGC 7788
  NGC 7790
  NGC 146
  NGC 133
  NGC 381
  NGC 559
  NGC 457
  NGC 436
  NGC 637
  NGC 189
  NGC 654
  NGC 663
  NGC 659
Cygnus
  M 29
  NGC 6811
  NGC 7063
  NGC 7082
  NGC 7128
  M 39
  NGC 6866
  NGC 6834
  NGC 6819
  NGC 6910
  NGC 7062
  NGC 7086
Vulpecula
  NGC 6940
  NGC 6800
  NGC 6802
  NGC 6823
  NGC 6830
  NGC 6882
Andromeda
  NGC 752
  NGC 7686
  NGC 956
Serpens Cauda
  M 16
Scutum
  M 26
  M 11
  NGC 6664
  NGC 6649
Cepheus
  NGC 7160
  NGC 6939
  NGC 7142
  NGC 7235
  NGC 7510
  NGC 7380
  NGC 7261
  NGC 188
  NGC 7419
  NGC 7762
  NGC 7129
Ophiuchus
  NGC 6633
Aquila
  NGC 6709
  NGC 6755
  NGC 6756
  NGC 6738
Lacerta
  NGC 7243
  NGC 7209
  NGC 7245
Camelopardalis
  NGC 1502
Auriga
  NGC 1778
  NGC 1857
  NGC 2126
  NGC 1893
  NGC 1664
  M 36
  M 37
  M 38
  NGC 1907
  NGC 2281
Taurus
  NGC 1647
  NGC 1746
  NGC 1817
  NGC 1807
Orion
  NGC 1662
  NGC 2169
  NGC 2186
  NGC 2194
  NGC 1981
Gemini
  M 35
  NGC 2158
  NGC 2331
  NGC 2395
  NGC 2129
  NGC 2420
  NGC 2266
  NGC 2355
Monoceros
  NGC 2264
  NGC 2215
  NGC 2244
  NGC 2252
  NGC 2232
  NGC 2251
  NGC 2301
  NGC 2302
  NGC 2324
  NGC 2353
  NGC 2343
  NGC 2236
  NGC 2311
  NGC 2506
  M 50
Puppis
  NGC 2539
  M 47
  M 46
Canis Major
  NGC 2345
  NGC 2360
  NGC 2374
Hydra
  M 48
Cancer
  M 67
 
 
 

 
 
  Descriptions
 
Here are the details of the 125 preferred Open Clusters to look for. It contains the technical information, a short description with things to know, and also a finder chart and picture are available.
 
To make it yourself even more convenient, all Open Clusters are rated with a number of stars:
 
***** These are the finest Open Clusters of the night sky. Mostly the well known Open Clusters, with beautiful twinkling lights in a great concentration, perhaps containing a huge amount of members.
**** Very nice Open Clusters, sometimes a little effort to spot them, or standing in an attractive star field. But once found, they include remarkable long star chains or lovely triples.
*** These Open Clusters are not so famous, maybe too much irregular and loose, but still easily found in the surrounding field, and a great chance to see different figures and patterns.
 
A less rating does not tell the Open Cluster isn't worth spotting it. It still reached the Top 125, remember!
 
             
1 NGC 133
 
  RA: 00h31.2 Dec.: 63d22   Cas
   
  NGC 133 forms an amazing triangle with NGC 146 and King 14. This triangle of open clusters is located close to the brilliant Kappa Cas, a star just above the W pattern. NGC 133 looks like a hook of 4 equal stars. NGC 146 and King 14 are fairly loose.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ****
 
 
             
2 NGC 146
 
  RA: 00h33.1 Dec.: 63d18   Cas
   
  NGC 146 forms an amazing triangle with NGC 133 and King 14. This triangle of open clusters is located close to the brilliant Kappa Cas, a star just above the W pattern. NGC 133 looks like a hook of 4 equal stars. NGC 146 and King 14 are fairly loose.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ****
 
 
             
3 NGC 189
 
  RA: 00h39.6 Dec.: 61d04   Cas
   
  It lies a bit SW of the cluster NGC 225, not far from Gamma Cas, the middle star of the W pattern. It is a pretty small cluster of some stars. It seems to appear as a figure U, with a needle thru it.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ***
 
 
             
4 NGC 225
 
  RA: 00h43.4 Dec.: 61d47   Cas
   
  It is located in the area of Gamma Cas, the middle star of the W pattern. It contains 2 groups, one with fainter stars than the other. The pretty small cluster NGC 189 lies just SW.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ***
 
 
             
5 NGC 188
 
  RA: 00h44.4 Dec.: 85d20   Cep
   
  This cluster stands almost next to the Pole Star. It is a wide arrangement of tiny stars. It is known as a very old cluster.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ****
 
 
             
6 NGC 381
 
  RA: 01h08.3 Dec.: 61d35   Cas
   
  A tiny but obvious cluster. It is postioned not far from Gamma Cas, the middle star of the W pattern.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ***
 
 
             
7 NGC 436
 
  RA: 01h15.6 Dec.: 58d49   Cas
   
  It is the nice little neighbour of the beautiful cluster NGC 457, both standing just beneath the W pattern. It is like a curved Y.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ****
 
 
             
8 NGC 457
 
  RA: 01h19.1 Dec.: 58d20   Cas
   
  This is a beautiful cluster just beneath the W pattern, close to the colored double star Phi Cas. The group seems to have 2 long arms. Just north of it you also find the tiny cluster NGC 436.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: *****
 
 
             
9 NGC 559
 
  RA: 01h29.5 Dec.: 63d18   Cas
   
  It is located in the left area of the W pattern of Cassiopeia. In this group several faint stars can easily be resolved. At center appears a small triangle.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ***
 
 
             
10 M 103
 
  RA: 01h33.2 Dec.: 60d42   Cas
   
  Clearly a triangle of stars, with brighter stars at the corners. This attractive cluster lies in the left part of the W pattern.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: *****
 
 
             
11 NGC 637
 
  RA: 01h42.9 Dec.: 64d00   Cas
   
  A small cluster, with the stars in short lines, almost as a M. A tiny double at center. It is located just above the left star of the W pattern of Cassiopeia.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ***
 
 
             
12 NGC 654
 
  RA: 01h44.1 Dec.: 61d53   Cas
   
  Three open clusters can be spotted in the same eyepiece, in the left part of the W pattern. NGC 663 as the biggest one in the middle, NGC 654 just north, NGC 659 just south. NGC 654 appears as a quadrangle, with a curving tail around a bright star.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ****
 
 
             
13 NGC 659
 
  RA: 01h44.2 Dec.: 60d42   Cas
   
  Three open clusters can be spotted in the same eyepiece, in the left part of the W pattern. NGC 663 as the biggest one in the middle, NGC 654 just north, NGC 659 just south. NGC 659 has a nice tiny row of 3 stars.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ****
 
 
             
14 NGC 663
 
  RA: 01h46.0 Dec.: 61d15   Cas
   
  Three open clusters can be spotted in the same eyepiece, in the left part of the W pattern. NGC 663 as the biggest one in the middle, NGC 654 just north, NGC 659 just south. NGC 663 appears as a P, with the eye filled.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ****
 
 
             
15 NGC 752
 
  RA: 01h57.8 Dec.: 37d41   And
   
  An easy bright and huge cluster for a low magnification. It lies between the nice colored double star Gamma And and the constellation of Triangle. Between a little triangle and a little double turn several stars.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ****
 
 
             
16 NGC 744
 
  RA: 01h58.4 Dec.: 55d29   Per
   
  It is positioned not far west of the Double Cluster Chi and h Persei. A small house shaped group with some stars clearly resolved, a pretty double at the roof top.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ***
 
 
             
17 NGC 869
 
  RA: 02h19.0 Dec.: 57d09   Per
   
  NGC 869 and NGC 884 is well known as the gorgeous Double Cluster between Perseus and Cassiopeia, also called Chi and h Persei. NGC 869 is the western group, NGC 884 the eastern one. NGC 884 contains a few little orange stars. Both also have tiny arcs of 3 stars. NGC 869 is younger, and stands closer to us.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: *****
 
 
             
18 NGC 884
 
  RA: 02h22.4 Dec.: 57d07   Per
   
  NGC 869 and NGC 884 is well known as the gorgeous Double Cluster between Perseus and Cassiopeia, also called Chi and h Persei. NGC 869 is the western group, NGC 884 the eastern one. NGC 884 contains a few little orange stars. Both also have tiny arcs of 3 stars. NGC 869 is younger, and stands closer to us.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: *****
 
 
             
19 NGC 956
 
  RA: 02h32.5 Dec.: 44d36   And
   
  Between 2 bright stars lies an arc of little stars. Its location is not far NW of the cluster M34, but just in the easternmost border of Andromeda.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ***
 
 
             
20 NGC 957
 
  RA: 02h33.6 Dec.: 57d32   Per
   
  Its position is just E of the Double Cluster Chi and h Persei. Next to a close double twinkle several faint stars.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ***
 
 
             
21 M 34
 
  RA: 02h42.0 Dec.: 42d47   Per
   
  Between the well known eclipsing variable Algol and the nice colored double Gamma And lies this obvious giant group of fairly bright stars. It shows some doubles, and the group looks like a rose.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ****
 
 
             
22 NGC 1027
 
  RA: 02h42.7 Dec.: 61d33   Cas
   
  This cluster has a bright lucida, and close to it a hook of 4 equal stars is visible. The group stands completely left of the W pattern.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ***
 
 
             
23 NGC 1245
 
  RA: 03h14.7 Dec.: 47d15   Per
   
  A patch of many faint stars lies just north of a bright star. The cluster sits SW of the naked eye group of stars around Alpha Per.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ***
 
 
             
24 NGC 1342
 
  RA: 03h31.6 Dec.: 37d20   Per
   
  A settlement of stars can be glimpsed south of a wide double. It is located in the middle of the lower part of the Perseus figure.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ***
 
 
             
25 NGC 1502
 
  RA: 04h07.7 Dec.: 62d20   Cam
   
  In the inconspicuous area of Camelopardalis, lies highly above Alpha Per, the marvelous open cluster NGC 1502. This little group of stars stands at the end of the known asterism chain of Kemble's Cascade. Right in the middle of this cluster appears the pretty white close double Struve 485 of nearly equally bright stars. The slightly fainter companion is the variable star SZ Cam, bouncing between magnitude 7.0 and 7.3 in a period of only 2 days.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: *****
 
 
             
26 NGC 1513
 
  RA: 04h10.0 Dec.: 49d31   Per
   
  Its position is east of Alpha Per. It looks like a rope with a circlet at the end. Also the clusters NGC 1545 and NGC 1528 lie in this field.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ****
 
 
             
27 NGC 1528
 
  RA: 04h15.4 Dec.: 51d14   Per
   
  Its position is east of Alpha Per. The brightest stars seem to make a Q. Also the clusters NGC 1545 and NGC 1513 lie in this field.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ***
 
 
             
28 NGC 1545
 
  RA: 04h20.9 Dec.: 50d15   Per
   
  Its position is east of Alpha Per. In the center glitters a small triangle. Some long chains of faint stars jump outwards this triangle. Also the clusters NGC 1528 and NGC 1513 lie in this field.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ****
 
 
             
29 NGC 1582
 
  RA: 04h32.0 Dec.: 43d51   Per
   
  The group lies west of the bright Capella. The first impression is a figure S, with fainter stars around. This giant cluster is loose, but still obvious.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ***
 
 
             
30 NGC 1647
 
  RA: 04h46.0 Dec.: 19d04   Tau
   
  This giant loose cluster lies just NE of the Hyades in Taurus. Easily found with many stars in an irregular group, in the middle 2 doubles appear.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ***
 
 
             
31 NGC 1662
 
  RA: 04h48.5 Dec.: 10d56   Ori
   
  This cluster of considerably bright stars seems to appear in a long shape, at center a tiny quadrangle is visible. Its location is SE of the Hyades in Taurus, but officially in the upper right corner of Orion.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ***
 
 
             
32 NGC 1664
 
  RA: 04h51.1 Dec.: 43d42   Aur
   
  Next to a bright star a conspicuous group of almost equally stars is shown. It is positioned closely SW of the bright Capella.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ***
 
 
             
33 NGC 1746
 
  RA: 05h03.6 Dec.: 23d49   Tau
   
  At the NE of the Hyades lies the cluster NGC 1647, and a same distance further NE lies this group NGC 1746. It also is a huge cluster with many stars of different brightnesses, but in the middle obviously several faint stars together.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ***
 
 
             
34 NGC 1778
 
  RA: 05h08.1 Dec.: 37d03   Aur
   
  The stars form a figure C, halfway sits a fine close double. This group is positioned in the bottom right area of the pentagon shape of Auriga.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ***
 
 
             
35 NGC 1807
 
  RA: 05h10.7 Dec.: 16d32   Tau
   
  NGC 1807 and NGC 1817 are a curious duo of open clusters, with a contrasting appearance. NGC 1807, the western group, has a few bright stars in a X shape. NGC 1817, the eastern group, is merely a giant settlement of many faint stars. This pair is located left of the Hyades and above Orion.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ****
 
 
             
36 NGC 1857
 
  RA: 05h20.2 Dec.: 39d21   Aur
   
  The cluster stands SE of Capella and the goats of Auriga. A bright star, and surrounded by many little stars fairly concentrated.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ***
 
 
             
37 NGC 1817
 
  RA: 05h21.1 Dec.: 16d42   Tau
   
  NGC 1807 and NGC 1817 are a curious duo of open clusters, with a contrasting appearance. NGC 1807, the western group, has a few bright stars in a X shape. NGC 1817, the eastern group, is merely a giant settlement of many faint stars. This pair is located left of the Hyades and above Orion.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ****
 
 
             
38 NGC 1893
 
  RA: 05h22.7 Dec.: 33d24   Aur
   
  This is the cluster embedded in the nebula IC410. The nebula is visually difficult, but the cluster is a splendid glittering in an oval shape, drawing some arcs and chains. Its location is just east of Melotte 31, the conspicuous naked eye concentration of stars in the lower center of the pentagon of Auriga.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ****
 
 
             
39 NGC 1907
 
  RA: 05h28.0 Dec.: 35d19   Aur
   
  The big cluster M38 in the middle of the Auriga pentagon, has this little companion. It sits south of it. A tiny patch of stars can be glimpsed, not well detached.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ****
 
 
             
40 M 38
 
  RA: 05h28.7 Dec.: 35d50   Aur
   
  M38, in the middle of the Auriga pentagon, is a fine cluster, the stars looking as a tree with straight branches. Also try to spot the little attendant NGC 1907 south of it, a tiny concentration of faint starpoints.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ****
 
 
             
41 NGC 1981
 
  RA: 05h35.2 Dec.: -04d26   Ori
   
  One degree north of the Orion Nebula glitters a highly inconspicuous group of bright stars. Two pleasing arcs of 3 stars are prominent.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ****
 
 
             
42 M 36
 
  RA: 05h36.1 Dec.: 34d08   Aur
   
  In the western part of this cluster lie the most brightest stars, while many fainter stars are spotted in the eastern part. The young M36 stands in the middle of the known cluster chain of M36, M37 and M38 in Auriga.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ****
 
 
             
43 M 37
 
  RA: 05h52.4 Dec.: 32d33   Aur
   
  The old M37 lies just outside the pentagon figure of Auriga. It is a stunning cluster including more than hundred stars. All of them are equal faint starlights, settled in a nice round giant group.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: *****
 
 
             
44 NGC 2129
 
  RA: 06h01.0 Dec.: 23d18   Gem
   
  The position of this fine tiny cluster is not far SW of the huge cluster M35. Two bright stars are remarkable, with fainter stars surrounding it.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ****
 
 
             
45 NGC 2126
 
  RA: 06h03.0 Dec.: 49d54   Aur
   
  Attached to a bright star, several faint stars are running southwards. This nice group rests NE of the bright Capella.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ****
 
 
             
46 NGC 2158
 
  RA: 06h07.5 Dec.: 24d06   Gem
   
  The big M35 also has a tiny companion. It stands SW of it, just outside the members of M35. It appears as a faint little smudge.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: ****
 
 
             
47 NGC 2169
 
  RA: 06h08.4 Dec.: 13d57   Ori
   
  In the eastern arm Orion is holding up, lies this surprising cluster. It reveals two groups of moderately bright stars, undoubtly forming the numbers 3 and 7. The cluster NGC 2194 sits not far SE of it.
 
  chart + picture !   Rate: *****
 
 
             
48 M 35
 
  RA: 06h08.9 Dec.: 24d20   Gem
   
  This marvelous giant cluster shows a string of stars, turning 180 degrees, and ending in a long fully straight line. The string starts with the splendid colored double star Otto Struve 134, and rides immediately along a pretty nice arc. M35 also has a little neighbour to look for, the small cluster NGC 2158 at the SW.
 
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49 NGC 2186
 
  RA: 06h12.2 Dec.: 05d27   Ori
   
  It shows a small cluster with one bright star, one double, and the others are faint lights. The cluster is located east of Betelgeuse, the bright upper left star of Orion.
 
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50 NGC 2194
 
  RA: 06h13.8 Dec.: 12d48   Ori
   
  In the eastern arm Orion is holding up, lies this fine cluster. Several little stars are well concentrated. The surprising cluster NGC 2169 sits not far NW of it.
 
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51 NGC 2215
 
  RA: 06h21.0 Dec.: -07d17   Mon
   
  Its location is east of the lower left star of orion. It also stands not far SW of the bright cluster NGC 2232. In this group several stars are nicely detached.
 
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52 NGC 2232
 
  RA: 06h26.6 Dec.: -04d45   Mon
   
  This is a easy huge cluster containing very bright stars. It seems to be split in 2 major groups. This obvious cluster sits east of the lower left star of Orion.
 
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53 NGC 2236
 
  RA: 06h29.7 Dec.: 06d50   Mon
   
  A little cloud shows up touching a bright star. With averted vision several faint stars can be resolved. It stands north of the cluster NGC 2244 of the Rosette Nebula, east of Betelgeuse.
 
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54 NGC 2244
 
  RA: 06h32.4 Dec.: 04d52   Mon
   
  This is the cluster embedded in the middle of the Rosette Nebula, lying east of Betelgeuse, but the one degree wide nebula is difficult visually. The cluster shows a rectangle figure. Halfway the rectangle some doubles can be distinguished. These young stars blow the hole inside the nebula.
 
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55 NGC 2251
 
  RA: 06h34.7 Dec.: 08d22   Mon
   
  It is located south of the lower right star of Gemini, not far SW of the Christmas Tree Cluster NGC 2264. This fine cluster appears as a chain of stars, ending with a small head.
 
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56 NGC 2252
 
  RA: 06h35.0 Dec.: 05d23   Mon
   
  This gorgeous cluster really looks like a fishhook. Couples of stars seem to form this figure. It is located just NE of the Rosette Nebula.
 
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57 NGC 2264
 
  RA: 06h41.1 Dec.: 09d53   Mon
   
  This is known as the great Christmas Tree Cluster, on the place of the Cone Nebula, difficult visually. Yes, 3 brights stars at the corners of a nice triangle figure forming the tree, with a brilliant star as the wooden trunk. Little stars nearby this brilliant star. This huge cluster sits south of the lower right star of Gemini. The fine small cluster NGC 2251 stands not far SW of it.
 
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58 NGC 2266
 
  RA: 06h43.2 Dec.: 26d58   Gem
   
  From a bright star starts a curve, ending with a nice short line of tiny stars. Next to the curve lie other stars in a triangle formation. This lovely cluster sits in the upper center area of the Gemini figure.
 
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59 NGC 2281
 
  RA: 06h49.3 Dec.: 41d04   Aur
   
  This group stands lonely in the space roughly between Castor and Capella. It looks like a duck, with a head, and an oval as the body. In the neck sits a quadrangle including a little double.
 
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60 NGC 2301
 
  RA: 06h51.8 Dec.: 00d28   Mon
   
  Several stars are nicely arranged in a drop, also towards east runs a fine chain of stars. This group lies far east of the Orion belt.
 
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61 NGC 2302
 
  RA: 06h51.9 Dec.: -07d04   Mon
   
  At the SE of a bright star, a few stars lie fairly well concentrated in a small group. This cluster stands not far NW of the huge cluster M50.
 
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62 NGC 2311
 
  RA: 06h57.8 Dec.: -04d35   Mon
   
  In the field above the cluster M50, rests this moderately faint group, containing almost equal stars merely scattered in a S pattern.
 
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63 M 50
 
  RA: 07h03.2 Dec.: -08d20   Mon
   
  It is positioned high above the bright Sirius. An easy and beautiful cluster to spot, many stars in a rather long triangle figure.
 
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64 NGC 2324
 
  RA: 07h04.2 Dec.: 01d03   Mon
   
  Its location is SW of Procyon, the major star of Canis Minor. A pretty fine group with many members in a considerably wide group, but only faint ones.
 
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65 NGC 2331
 
  RA: 07h07.2 Dec.: 27d21   Gem
   
  West of Castor and Pollux, inside the Gemini figure, lies this irregular cluster including a few stars highly detached, but still easily noticed in this field.
 
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66 NGC 2343
 
  RA: 07h08.3 Dec.: -10d39   Mon
   
  NGC 2343 and NGC 2353 are two groups lying SE of the great cluster M50. This group nearly shows a triangle pattern, with little stars inside.
 
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67 NGC 2345
 
  RA: 07h08.3 Dec.: -13d10   CMa
   
  In the area between M47 and Sirius lie NGC 2345, NGC 2360 and NGC 2374. This cluster looks like a spreaded triangle with a pretty double at the nose.
 
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68 NGC 2353
 
  RA: 07h14.6 Dec.: -10d18   Mon
   
  NGC 2343 and NGC 2353 are two groups lying SE of the great cluster M50. This group sits between two bright stars, with several stars nicely loose, also a tiny double and a few stars next to the southern bright star.
 
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69 NGC 2355
 
  RA: 07h16.9 Dec.: 13d47   Gem
   
  Its position is south of the lower center of Gemini. Fairly faint stars loosely arranged, with only the brighter ones slightly placed together. The cluster NGC 2395 can be spotted just east of here.
 
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70 NGC 2360
 
  RA: 07h17.8 Dec.: -15d37   CMa
   
  In the area between M47 and Sirius lie NGC 2345, NGC 2360 and NGC 2374. This cluster is marvelous, with a lot of stars. The brightest ones form an small arrowhead, the most fainter ones sprinkled next to it.
 
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71 NGC 2374
 
  RA: 07h24.0 Dec.: -13d16   CMa
   
  In the area between M47 and Sirius lie NGC 2345, NGC 2360 and NGC 2374. This giant and loose cluster lies NE of a wide double. Some stars are more concentrated.
 
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72 NGC 2395
 
  RA: 07h27.1 Dec.: 13d35   Gem
   
  Its position is south of the lower center of Gemini. Tiny starpoints lie well detached, rather in a rectangle pattern, in two opposite corners of it some more closing stars. The cluster NGC 2355 can be spotted just west of here.
 
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73 M 47
 
  RA: 07h36.6 Dec.: -14d30   Pup
   
  Searching M47 and M46 always is a nice challenge, two contrasting open clusters in appearance, positioned east of Sirius. M47 is a huge and brilliant cluster. Some curves can be glimpsed. A group of stars looks like an axe.
 
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74 NGC 2420
 
  RA: 07h38.5 Dec.: 21d34   Gem
   
  The nearly equally bright little stars can be noticed in a pattern with two curves and one straight row. This curious cluster lies south of Pollux.
 
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75 M 46
 
  RA: 07h41.8 Dec.: -14d49   Pup
   
  Searching M47 and M46 always is a nice challenge, two contrasting open clusters in appearance, positioned east of Sirius. M46 is a huge group with many faint starlights, well sprinkled. You also must find the little planetary nebula NGC 2438 on the northern edge of this cluster.
 
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76 NGC 2506
 
  RA: 08h00.2 Dec.: -10d47   Mon
   
  This is located in the space between M48 and M47. Also the cluster NGC 2539 sits closely SE of it. Many stars are considerably detached, at center merely a small oval shape.
 
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77 NGC 2539
 
  RA: 08h10.7 Dec.: -12d50   Pup
   
  At the NW of a wide colored double lies this giant and rich cluster, little stars are greatly disconnected. This group is located in the space between M48 and M47. Also the cluster NGC 2506 sits closely NW of it.
 
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78 M 48
 
  RA: 08h13.8 Dec.: -05d48   Hyd
   
  It lies SE of Procyon, but officially just inside the boundaries of Hydra. A huge and nice scattered cluster. At center some bright stars form a figure J.
 
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79 M 67
 
  RA: 08h50.4 Dec.: 11d49   Cnc
   
  Two clusters are well known in Cancer, the wide naked eye Beehive Cluster M44, and this cluster M67 shining marvelous in the telescope. It is a splendid cluster including faint and bright stars in an astonishing formation, the brighter ones merely arranged in a pattern C. It is positioned west of the lower left conspicuous star of the Cancer figure, that is just above the head of Hydra. M67 is a 5 billion years old cluster, travelled already far out the disk of our Milky Way.
 
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80 M 16
 
  RA: 18h18.8 Dec.: -13d47   SerCd
   
  M16 is the famous Star Queen or Eagle Nebula. Inside it sits a cluster of some glittering stars. A bright wide double seems to be surrounded by other fainter wide doubles. M16 rests near the lower region of Scutum, but you are pointed into the area of Serpens Cauda. Its stars are known to be very hot.
 
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81 NGC 6633
 
  RA: 18h27.7 Dec.: 06d34   Oph
   
  NGC 6633 is the easily spottable wide and bright cluster east of the upper left star of the Ophiuchus house figure. Some bright stars show a teardrop shape, including a tiny double. West of it form 6 stars a triangle shape. East of it ends a curve in 3 bright stars.
 
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82 NGC 6649
 
  RA: 18h33.5 Dec.: -10d24   Sct
   
  This fairly faint but fine cluster stands fully in the shield figure, in the lower half of it. North of a bright star, several scattered stars can be glimpsed.
 
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83 NGC 6664
 
  RA: 18h36.7 Dec.: -08d13   Sct
   
  This is the obvious group of stars just east of the middle Scutum star Alpha Sct. Several different stars seem to be merged in a certain pattern.
 
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84 M 26
 
  RA: 18h45.2 Dec.: -09d24   Sct
   
  M26 is the cluster sitting SW of the gorgeous cluster M11. The lucida of M26, together with 3 other bright stars, show at center a diamond shaped quadrangle. The cluster NGC 6664 lies NW, cluster NGC 6649 lies SW.
 
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85 M 11
 
  RA: 18h51.1 Dec.: -06d16   Sct
   
  This is the most stunning cluster of the night sky. It is an impressive cluster in the crowded milky way star field of Scutum. The cluster reveals hundred members, the slightly brighter ones draw the borders of the U shaped group. It shows one bright lucida, attached to one leg of this U. Close to the lucida, between the legs of the U, appears another small concentration of several fainter stars. M11 is the Wild Duck Cluster, and is located just SE of the topmost Scutum star Beta Sct.
 
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86 NGC 6709
 
  RA: 18h51.5 Dec.: 10d21   Aql
   
  A easily spotted cluster in the westernmost portion of Aquila, containing fairly bright members. The stars lie well sprinkled, nicely forming arcs and turning chains. The cluster NGC 6738 lies just NE of here.
 
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87 NGC 6738
 
  RA: 19h01.4 Dec.: 11d36   Aql
   
  In the westernmost portion of Aquila, stands this loose group, but it appears obvious. One bright star at center, two wide doubles can be seen at the same side next to it. The cluster NGC 6709 lies just SW of here.
 
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88 NGC 6755
 
  RA: 19h07.8 Dec.: 04d14   Aql
   
  NGC 6755 and NGC 6756 are two clusters lying in the center right portion of Aquila, in fact just east of the last tail star of Serpens. NGC 6755 is a rather loose group of faint stars, but the most obvious is the little knot of attached stars at center. NGC 6756 sits 30 arcminutes towards the NE, and also just visible as a small knot of very close stars.
 
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89 NGC 6756
 
  RA: 19h08.7 Dec.: 04d41   Aql
   
  NGC 6755 and NGC 6756 are two clusters lying in the center right portion of Aquila, in fact just east of the last tail star of Serpens. NGC 6755 is a rather loose group of faint stars, but the most obvious is the little knot of attached stars at center. NGC 6756 sits 30 arcminutes towards the NE, and also just visible as a small knot of very close stars.
 
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90 NGC 6800
 
  RA: 19h27.2 Dec.: 25d08   Vul
   
  This group in Vulpecula sits high above the naked eye Coathanger Cluster. It shows a curved chain of almost equal stars in a teardrop pattern.
 
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91 NGC 6802
 
  RA: 19h30.6 Dec.: 20d16   Vul
   
  This is the tiny cluster at the eastern end of the bar of the naked eye Coathanger Cluster. It appears as a small smudge, only a few stars can be detached with averted vision. It also lies in a nice starfield, two beautiful doubles can be noticed north of it.
 
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92 NGC 6811
 
  RA: 19h36.9 Dec.: 46d23   Cyg
   
  This marvelous cluster really looks like a wing nut. Two inconspicuous arcs forming the two wings. This splendid group is located closely NW of Delta Cyg, the left wing of the Swan.
 
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93 NGC 6819
 
  RA: 19h41.3 Dec.: 40d11   Cyg
   
  It stands almost lonely south of Delta Cyg, the left wing of the Swan. In this pretty group, two chains curving at the end are noticeable.
 
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94 NGC 6823
 
  RA: 19h43.1 Dec.: 23d18   Vul
   
  It is positioned NE of the naked eye Coathanger Cluster. At center a wide double is shown, and also a tiny double can be glimpsed inside it. A concentration of fainter stars more obvious at north. The cluster NGC 6830 sits just east of it.
 
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95 NGC 6830
 
  RA: 19h51.0 Dec.: 23d04   Vul
   
  It is positioned NE of the naked eye Coathanger Cluster. It looks like a settlement in 2 crossing lines, so like the figure X. The cluster NGC 6823 sits just west of it.
 
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96 NGC 6834
 
  RA: 19h52.2 Dec.: 29d25   Cyg
   
  NE of the popular double Albireo stands this nice cluster, almost on the border between Cygnus and Vulpecula. It shows up as a figure V, one leg is shorter. On both sides of it, a knot of some stars.
 
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97 NGC 6866
 
  RA: 20h03.8 Dec.: 44d09   Cyg
   
  It appears as a triangle pattern, with a round base. The brightest stars lie along this base. Its position is halfway and just above the western wing of the Swan.
 
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98 NGC 6882
 
  RA: 20h11.7 Dec.: 26d33   Vul
   
  This fairly giant group sits in the middle of the space between Cygnus, Sagitta and Delphinus. It looks like 2 pears connected with a rope, and the rope hangs over a nail, the nail is a bright star.
 
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99 NGC 6910
 
  RA: 20h23.1 Dec.: 40d47   Cyg
   
  It lies closely north of the center Swan star Gamma Cyg. It reveals a figure Y, with a bright star at the end of one arm, and a bright star halfway the Y leg. Also next to the Y curves a chain of stars.
 
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100 M 29
 
  RA: 20h23.9 Dec.: 38d32   Cyg
   
  This is a lovely small cluster of a few bright stars. It is located just south of the center Swan star Gamma Cyg. Eight stars seem to be split in two groups of 3 and 5 stars. 3 stars of the group with 5 stars, appear as a mirror image of the group with 3 stars. M29 is known as a poor cluster, but all members are giants.
 
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101 NGC 6939
 
  RA: 20h31.4 Dec.: 60d38   Cep
   
  This is the cluster frequently observed together with the galaxy NGC 6946 in the same field. Their positions lie in a small corner of the Cepheus constellation, west of the lower right star of Cepheus. It appears as a hooked stick spouting a cloud of many faint stars.
 
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102 NGC 6940
 
  RA: 20h34.6 Dec.: 28d18   Vul
   
  Its location is south of Epsilon Cyg, the eastern wing of the Swan. It shows a pattern Y. A fairly straight line of stars suddenly split into two thick chains of stars.
 
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103 NGC 7062
 
  RA: 21h23.2 Dec.: 46d23   Cyg
   
  A diamond shaped quadrangle, the brightest stars at the corners, filled with fainter stars. It can be found east of Deneb. At the NE lies the cluster NGC 7082, and same distance further NE lies the great cluster M39.
 
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104 NGC 7063
 
  RA: 21h24.4 Dec.: 36d30   Cyg
   
  Two bright stars, and between it curves a hooked chain of stars, some of them are doubles. It rests far east of Epsilon Cyg, the eastern wing of the Swan.
 
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105 NGC 7082
 
  RA: 21h29.4 Dec.: 47d05   Cyg
   
  It can be found east of Deneb. An obvious wide cluster in this starfield. A slightly bright small triangle points as an arrow almost to a little arc of 3 stars. On the other side of it, the most fainter stars can be picked up. At the SW lies the cluster NGC 7062. At the NE lies the great cluster M39.
 
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106 NGC 7086
 
  RA: 21h30.5 Dec.: 51d35   Cyg
   
  It can be noticed that out of a bright star run long curved lines of stars, like the leaves of a palm tree. It stands north of the great cluster M39, east of Deneb. Also the cluster NGC 7128 lies not far NE.
 
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107 M 39
 
  RA: 21h32.2 Dec.: 48d26   Cyg
   
  East of Deneb, a huge cluster with bright members can not be overlooked. It has the shape of a triangle. Inside it, some wide doubles are shown. North of it sits the cluster NGC 7086. In a line SW of it the clusters NGC 7062 and NGC 7082 can be found.
 
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108 NGC 7129
 
  RA: 21h42.8 Dec.: 66d06   Cep
   
  This is a small nebula and cluster. In most cases the nebula is visually difficult, but here the nebulosity is greatly obvious. The cluster itself is a pretty group of 6 bright stars, like a curved Y. The fine cluster NGC 7142 stands only 20 arcminutes SE. Both lie into the house shape of Cepheus. Another one into the house is NGC 7160, lying S.
 
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109 NGC 7128
 
  RA: 21h44.0 Dec.: 53d43   Cyg
   
  The first impression is a circle of stars. The circle seems to start with 3 bright members, with the last one as a close double. The next 2 members are fainter doubles. Also a faint tail attached to the circle can be noticed, so the whole merely shows a 9. The cluster stands south of the house shaped Cepheus, but just into the boundaries of Cygnus. Also the cluster NGC 7086 lies not far SW.
 
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110 NGC 7142
 
  RA: 21h45.9 Dec.: 65d48   Cep
   
  A fairly great number of tiny stars lie slightly scattered. In the group a kind of question mark can be considered. The pleasing cluster NGC 7129 stands only 20 arcminutes NW. Both lie into the house shape of Cepheus. Another one into the house is NGC 7160, lying S.
 
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111 NGC 7160
 
  RA: 21h53.7 Dec.: 62d36   Cep
   
  West of a bright double sits a little triangle. East of the double starts a bow, stars become fainter, and ends near the triangle. It lies into the house shape of Cepheus. Another attractive pair lying in the house is NGC 7129 and NGC 7142, towards N.
 
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112 NGC 7209
 
  RA: 22h05.2 Dec.: 46d30   Lac
   
  It shows a huge and rich irregular cluster, the brightest members run as a long chain thru it, with almost ten perfectly round curves. It lies halfway west in the conspicuous Lacerta. The other wide group NGC 7243 lies NE.
 
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113 NGC 7235
 
  RA: 22h12.6 Dec.: 57d17   Cep
   
  From a first bright star, making a triangle with 2 faint stars, starts a chain and fully turns, with a sideway towards a second bright star. Its position is one degree south of the lower left star of the Cepheus house pattern. One degree east of this star you can find the cluster NGC 7261.
 
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114 NGC 7245
 
  RA: 22h15.3 Dec.: 54d20   Lac
   
  His location is at top of Lacerta, in fact closely south of the lower left star of the Cepheus shape. It sits lovely into an enormously rich Milky Way star field. It is visible as a faint patch, but a closer look resolves several tiny lights.
 
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115 NGC 7243
 
  RA: 22h15.3 Dec.: 49d53   Lac
   
  A huge and loose group, it seems to have three wide arms curving out the center. There sits a small triangle, with the tip as a close double. It lies near the top of the conspicuous Lacerta. Another wide group NGC 7209 lies SW.
 
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116 NGC 7261
 
  RA: 22h20.4 Dec.: 58d05   Cep
   
  It has the shape of a flame, but rather with a hooked base. Halfway a tiny double appears. Its position is one degree east of the lower left star of the Cepheus house pattern. One degree south of this star you can find the cluster NGC 7235.
 
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117 NGC 7380
 
  RA: 22h47.0 Dec.: 58d06   Cep
   
  This group stands a moderately way off east of the lower left star of the Cepheus house pattern. A cluster of stars embedded in a nebula, visually hard to detect. The stars stand in a triangle figure with a bright tip. Some greatly straight lines of faint stars can be glimpsed.
 
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118 NGC 7419
 
  RA: 22h54.3 Dec.: 60d50   Cep
   
  It is recognized as a faint smudge, a better look reveals a glittering of lightpoints. It can be found east of the Cepheus house pattern. The cluster 7510 sits not far east of it.
 
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119 NGC 7510
 
  RA: 23h11.5 Dec.: 60d34   Cep
   
  It is like a bright star has shot 2 bright lines and 1 faint line of stars. The 2 bright ones end with a bright member. It can be found east of the Cepheus house pattern. The cluster 7419 sits not far west of it.
 
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120 M 52
 
  RA: 23h24.2 Dec.: 61d35   Cas
   
  Extracting the westernmost arm of the W pattern, gets you to this great cluster. You cannot miss the very brilliant lucida. Next to it a figure 9 can be revealed.
 
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121 NGC 7686
 
  RA: 23h30.2 Dec.: 49d08   And
   
  It rests in the NW corner of the Andromeda constellation, but rather SW of the westernmost star of the Cassiopeia W pattern. The cluster is a loose concentration of several stars, but two bright stars are the most obvious.
 
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122 NGC 7762
 
  RA: 23h49.8 Dec.: 68d02   Cep
   
  Its position is high above the Cassiopeia W pattern, that is east of the roof of the Cepheus house pattern. Faint stars are sprinkled and well detached. A nearly straight and short row of almost five little stars appears at center.
 
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123 NGC 7788
 
  RA: 23h56.7 Dec.: 61d24   Cas
   
  NGC 7788 and NGC 7790 are a curious duo, closely NW of the westernmost star of the Cassiopeia W pattern. NGC 7788 is the smallest, and it shows a little cloud of tiny stars, attached to a bright star.
 
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124 NGC 7789
 
  RA: 23h57.0 Dec.: 56d44   Cas
   
  This really is an attractive cluster. It is located closely SW of the westernmost star of the Cassiopeia W pattern. It is known as an old cluster. It should have been a member of the famous Messier list. Mostly the eyepiece is filled with an enormous number of faint starpoints. A very pleasing image.
 
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125 NGC 7790
 
  RA: 23h58.4 Dec.: 61d13   Cas
   
  NGC 7788 and NGC 7790 are a curious duo, closely NW of the westernmost star of the Cassiopeia W pattern. NGC 7790 resolves as a teardrop shape.
 
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