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NGC 1746 (3,345 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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NGC 1746

NGC 1746, Cl Collinder 57, C 0500+237, Ocl 452, COCD 60, GC 5349

RA: 05h 03m 50s
Dec: +23° 46′ 12″

Con: Taurus
Ch: MSA:159, U2:134, SA:5

Ref: SIMBAD, Collinder (1931), DAML02, Archinal&Hynes (2003), Skiff20080430-HGCjr

(reference key)

Type: open cluster, 32p

Mag: B=?, V=6.1

Size: 42′
PA: ?

History and Accurate Positions for the NGC/IC Objects (Corwin 2004)

NGC 1746. This is a curious case, found by d'A while searching for NGC 1750 (which see) = H VIII 43. He describes it as a poor cluster, and places it about 10 arcmin north of WH's place -- but nevertheless calls it H VIII 43. Dreyer apparently thought it a separate object since he gave it a new GC number in the GC supplement.

There is a group of about a dozen faint stars at d'A's place, and a much more extensive group at WH's place (see the note for NGC 1750 for a description). While I'm doubtful that d'A's object is worth numbering, I'm going to follow Dreyer as closely as possible and retain both objects at something like their original positions.

I must note, however, that Galadi-Enriquez et al (A&AS 131, 239, 1998) have shown that this group of stars is neither astrometrically nor photometrically a real cluster. It is no more than a random clump in the rich Milky Way field in Taurus.


D'Arrest catalogued NGC 1746 as a "poor cluster". William Herschel observed an open cluster which he listed as Class VIII Number 43, describing it as a " cluster of large stars, extremely scattered." On another occasion he logged an object, Class VII Number 21, describing it as a "pretty compressed cluster of large and small stars". The objects were included in the NGC as nos. 1750 and 1758 respectively. These three NGC objects all lie within the confines on a grouping known as Collinder 57 or Melotte 28. It is a large open cluster, 41' across, consisting of about 20 stars, the brightest of magnitude 8.0. The integrated magnitude is 6.0. Trumpler described this cluster as detached from the background starfield, no concentration toward the centre, moderate range in brightness, star-poor.

Published comments

Raab, S. (1922)

Raab, S. (1922) A research on open clusters. Lund Medd. Astron. Obs. Ser. II, 28, 1.

Discussed, based of F-A plates.

Melotte, P.J. (1915)

A catalogue of star clusters shown on Franklin-Adams chart plates. Mem.R.A.S., 60(5), 175-186.

Trumpler, R.J. (1928)

(Lick Obs. Bulletin, Vol 14, No 420) gives the diameter of NGC 1746 as 40' and the class as 4 2 m.

Photo index

by Jim Lucyk: Burnhams V3 p1885, Observer's Guide (Astro Cards) 11-12/87 p28.

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

(Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 6.0 mag open cluster. Their coded description reads VLOOSE CL DC.

Bailey, S.I. (1908)

"cluster, coarase, irregular; includes also NGC 1750 and 1758."

Bailey, S.I. (1908) A catalogue of bright stars and nebulae. Ann.Harv.Coll.Obs., 60(8), 199.

Remarks, p.217: "this objects, with 1750 and 1758, forms one large irregular cluster. there seems to be no distinct division into different clusters."

Doig, P. (1926)

Doig, P. (1926) "A Catalogue of Estimated Parallaxes of 112 Nebulae, Open clusters and Star Groups", Vol 36 (4), p 107-115.

"loose cluster, not well defined." He gives the approx. diameter as 50 arcmin.

Modern observations

Steve Coe

Steve CoeSACNEWS On-Line for January 1996: "NGC 1746 is bright, very large, somewhat rich, not compressed, 60 stars counted at 60X. This group takes up the entire one degree field with several clumps of stars in the eyepiece. Using the 11X80 finder, I counted 14 stars. It is at 5 hr 03.6 min and +23 49."

Tom Lorenzin

Tom Lorenzin, in the electronic version of "1000+ The Amateur Astronomers' Field Guide to Deep Sky Observing", notes: "6M; 45' extent; sparse; knots of stars; E portion has separate NGC designation (N1758 or N1750 (depending upon which source one believes))."

Gramer, Lew (IAAC)

Observer: Lew Gramer; Your skills: Intermediate (some years); Date/time of observation: 1998-02-19/20 03:20 UT; Location of site: Medford, MA, USA (Lat 42oN, Elev 5m); Site classification: Suburban; Sky darkness: 5.6 Limiting magnitude; Seeing: 7 1-10 Seeing Scale (10 best); Moon presence: None - moon not in sky; Instrument: 7x50 handheld binoculars; Magnification: 7x; Filter(s): None; Object(s): NGC 1746; Category: Open cluster; Class: III 1/2 p; Constellation: Tau; Data: mag 6.1 size 42'; Position: RA 05:04 DEC +23:49

Description: Well, Sunday night (22 Feb) was another nasty New England surprise: after a clear night Thursday strongly forecast as cloudy, the week- end gave us three nights with predicted clear skies, ALL of which clouded up unexpectedly! Sunday night was the worst... But luckily, during that unexpectedly clear night, I had time to begin my Astro- nomical League Binocular Deep Sky certificate observations. And now as I have nothing else to report on, I have plenty of time to submit the observing logs for that night to IAAC! Item Three on the AL list that night (see previous logs for Hyades and n1647) was the fairly large, bright cluster n1746. This fine little binocular oc showed 6 distinct stars (or concentrations) to direct vision, mags 5-8. These were set amid a dark field of what seemed relatively few unresolved stars at 7x. These DV stars, and the few hints of haze beneath, were scattered across a wide area even in binocs, stretching perhaps 40'. This cluster was most easily found for me by beginning at zeta Tau (the fainter "horn" star, near M1), sweeping WNW past the telescopic multiple 114 Tau, to the pretty, uneven pair 109 & 108 Tau. These two in turn point NW to a wide (over 2o) binocular asterism which looks very much like the "X"-shaped head of Serpens. A smidgen SE of the faint center star of the X, 1746 should stand out well in the field.

Albino, Adam (IAAC)

Observer: Adam Albino; Your skill: Intermediate; Date and UT: LMT: 97/12/20 08:45pm (UTC: 1997/12/21 00:45); Location & latitude: Norwell, MA - 25 miles South of Boston, MA; Site classification: Suburban; Limiting magnitude: 6; Seeing (1 to 10 - worst-best): 6-7; Moon up (phase?): No; Weather: Clear; Instrument: Celestron Ultima 8" PEC SCT / 80mm f-10 MAK Guide scope / 50mm Finder; Magnifications: 39X, 69X, 125X; Filters used: none, Lumicon UHC; Object: NGC1746, NGC1750, NGC1758; Type: Open Clusters Mag. - 6.1; Constellation: Taurus; RA/DE: 05:03.9 / +23.39o;

Description: The main cluster is 1746, with 1750 and 1758 being imbedded. I found 1750 and 58 as just small stellar groupings that really didn=92t stand out from 1746 at all. 1746 itself is a loose collection with maybe 45 stars. Easy in the 50mm and really too spread out for the 8". Would be a nice binocular cluster. Not quite as tight as nearby 1647.

Steve Gottlieb

05 03.6 +23 49

17.5: very bright, very large. Spread out but rich in faint stars to the S of two mag 8 stars. Includes two main subgroups. See notes for N1750 and N1758 for description of subgroups.

13: about 100 stars in 20' field. The brightest star is near the edge and there are many nearby bright stars.

Danie L. Cronje


Danie Cronje, observing with 10x50 binoculars, calls it "sparse, large grouping of rather faint stars. Very much like NGC 1647. Stars uniform brightness - framed by a few brighter stars not part of cluster."

Contemporary observations

Auke Slotegraaf

2012 February 18, Saturday

Location: Paardeberg (ASSA Cape Centre dark sky site) [33:34.4S, 18:51.3E]

Time: 21:40-22:05 SAST

SQM-L: 20.96 (22dC)

Binocs: 15x70 Celestron

NGC 1746 is the "In-a-Box Cluster".

An approximately round, very very faint haze, 13' across, with two or three knots of brighter stars. Contained within a noticeable angular (box-shaped) pattern of stars, 40' x 20'. The cluster lies between, but not including, HD 32500 and HD 32318.

Its easy to sweep up NGC 1746 (its star-box catches the eye) - it lies two binocular fields from El Nath (beta Tau) directly in line with Aldebaran (alpha Tau).


The cluster is not very impressive in a two-inch telescope. It appears large, poor and faint. It can only be seen clearly in 8x40 binoculars with averted vision.

Magda Streicher

31 Jan 2008

NGC: 1746 - Taurus


RA: 05h03m50.7 - DEC: +23o46'04"

Magnitude: 6 Size: 42'

Tel: 12" S/C 218x Date: 31 Jan 2008 Site: Alldays - good

What a lovely view to look into a cluster with a field overload with faint and brigher stars. Clumps of stars and larger groupings within given a nice carakter to this more than one cluster flowing into one another which contain NGC 1750 and NGC 1758.

Tom Bryant

2011 2 10 20:17:22

Observing site: Little Tycho Observatory

Telescope: C-8

[5h 3m 36s, 23 49m 0s] This is just a small triangle of stars in a very starry field. It's a lovely low power field, but the cluster, and those also listed in the field are non entities.

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