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RA: 05h 38m 12s
Dec: +25° 49′ 0″
Ch: MSA:158, U2:136, SA:5
Ref: SIMBAD, DAML02, Archinal&Hynes (2003)
Type: open cluster
Mag: B=?, V=?
NGC 1996. Another of RNGC's "nonexistent" clusters, this is clearly apparent on the POSS1, and is centered just an arcminute east of the NGC position. The 30 or so stars are scattered over an area of about 15 arcmin by 10 arcmin (the long axis is at PA = about 20 degrees).
But is it a real cluster? To answer that, of course, will take a study of the area, with proper motions and photometry for the suspect stars.
Discovered in 1785 by William Herschel with an 18.7-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He called it "a cluster of coarsely scattered stars, above 15' diameter. The stars nearly of a size and equally scattered."
The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a nonexistent object.
The Messier objects
The Bennett objects
The Caldwell list
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