M35

M35

Messier 35 or M35 (also designated NGC 2168) is an open cluster in the constellation Gemini. It has an apparent visual magnitude of 5.3 and its angular diameter is 28 arc-minutes. M35 lies at an estimated distance of 2800 light years. The Equinox 2000 coordinates are RA= 6h 08.9m, Dec= +24° 20´ which makes M35 best seen during the winter. The Messier Winter Star Chart shows the position of all Messier objects visible during that season.

The image above shows the uncropped view of M35 through the Takahashi E-180 Astrograph (North is up). A 2x enlargement of this image appears to the right. Located about 1/2 degree southwest (lower right) of M35 is the more distant open cluster NGC 2158.

In spite of its inclusion in the Messier Catalog, this open cluster was actually discovered by J-P. de Chéseaux in 1746. According to Kharchenko et al. (2005), the distance of M35 is 2710 light years and its diameter is 22 light years. It contains 2700 stars and its estimated age is 150 million years.

For more information, see the Messier Catalog as well as specific entries for M35 in Wikipedia and SEDS.

Messier's Description of M35

August 30, 1764
`Cluster of very small stars, near the left foot of Castor, at a little distance from the stars Mu and Eta of that constellation [Gemini]. M. Messier has reported its position on the chart of the comet of 1770, Mem. Acad. 1771, pl. VII. Reported in the English Atlas Coelestis.' (diam. 20')

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