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Constellation In Focus: Auriga
Constellation In Focus: Auriga

Auriga is most notable for its three bright open clusters and for sporting one of the ten brightest stars in the night sky, Capella.

In ascending order of interest are Auriga?s three Messier-designated open clusters: M36, M38 and M37. All are clearly visible to the naked eye from a dark site and, in binoculars, appear as bright fuzzy patches; naturally, a telescope brings out the most detail. M36 will show around 50 stars in an 8" scope while M38 shows twice as many stars, some in apparent chain-like arrangements. But the most notable of the trio is M37. In a 12" scope, roughly 150 starts are visible in this neatly arranged cluster, some tinged red.

NGC 1931 is a bright emission nebula surrounding a very small open cluster. With high magnification in an 8" telescope, the nebula is quite apparent.

February 2006

Details
Date Taken: 05/24/2011
Author: Sean O'Dwyer
Category: Astronomy

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