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NGC 2972 (6,337 of 18,816)

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NGC 2972

NGC 2972, NGC 2999, Dunlop 397, Cl Collinder 211, ESO 212-11, Cl VDBH 76, C 0938-501, Bennett 41a, h 3183, GC 1902

RA: 09h 40m 28.5s
Dec: −50° 20′ 10″

Con: Vela
Ch: MSA:962, U2:426, SA:20

Ref: SIMBAD, Collinder (1931), DAML02, NGC/IC, Archinal&Hynes (2003)

(reference key)

Type: open cluster, 21p

Mag: B=10.72, V=9.9

Size: 4′
PA: ?

Image gallery

Sketches  (1)

Select a sketch and click the button to view

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

NGC 2972 = NGC 2999, which see.

Historical observations

Dunlop, James (1827)

This open cluster, also known as Collinder 211, was discovered by James Dunlop from Paramatta, New South Wales, and included it as No. 397 in his catalogue of 1827. Using a 9-inch f/12 telescope, he described it as "a very small faint round nebula, about 15 arcseconds diameter, with two or three exceedingly small stars slightly involved in it, and another small star about 1' south of it."

John Herschel (1847) Cape Observations

Observed by Sir John Herschel at the Cape of Good Hope with an 18-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He recorded it as "a small pretty compressed cluster; irregular firgure; 4' in extent. Not rich stars, 13th mag."

The NGC calls it "small, pretty compressed, stars of magnitude 13." Trumpler described this cluster as detached from the background starfield, weakly concentrated toward the centre, small range in brightness and poorly populated. Its 25 members are spread out over 4' of sky.

Published comments

Stewart (1908) Ann.Harv.Coll.Obs., 60 (6)

Table IV: No cl., but S* near.

Trumpler, R.J. (1928)

Trumpler (Lick Obs Bul, Vol 14, No. 420) gives the diameter as 4.5' and the class as 1 2 m.

Hogg, A.R. (1965)

"Cat. of Open Cl. south of -45° Decl.", Mem. 17 Mnt Stromlo Obs.

Definitely an open cluster.

Vogt, N. & Moffat, A.F.J. (1972/3)

Vogt. N. & Moffat, AFJ (1972), "Southern Open Star Clusters II." Astron.Astrophys.Suppl., 9, 97-131. [image, table]

"The colour-colour diagram of this faint cluster shows three groups: one single B-star, a group of A-stars and 5 late-type stars. The cluster is real only if it consists of the A-star group. ... A very tentative solution is ... d = 1.18kpc, earliest spectral type A0. NGC 2972 may contain three red giants..."

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 10.0 mag open cluster.

Modern observations

Brian Skiff

V&M II: * ESE V=9.41/1.77.

QBS: br * ~2'.5 ESE.

15cm - hey! a cute little cl well sep from bkgrnd. m9.5 * on ESE edge, res @

80x. 140x shows 35 *s in 2' diam, m12+, reaching to radius of m9.5 *.

two consp strings radiate from center ESE (twd br *) and SSE. mod sharp

concen to sl fuzzy core. BS, 23Feb1990, LCO.

Contemporary observations

Auke Slotegraaf

2004 March 25

Stellenbosch (Paradyskloof rifle range)

6-inch f/8 Newtonian

Conditions: NELM 5.8 at the pole. Thin cloud in the distance.

Star hopping to where the cluster should be, I find a 9.5 mag star, and then I see the cluster itself, a nuance further west. At 48x, it is an elongated (1:3) mottled glow oriented NW-SE. It is an elegant, soft object, in contrast to the now-bright 9.5 mag star to its east. A short line of stars can be made out, forming the SE edge of the cluster. At 96x, at least a dozen stars appear, forming a stretched-out 5 arcmin affair. The NW edge is marked by a nice double star. A second shorter chain penetrates into the centre of the grouping, coming from the direction of the 9.5 mag star. The impression of two star chains crossing each other is engaging.

2004 March 24

From "Observing log, 2004 March 24"

Rifle Range, 6-inch f/8

NGC 2972 lies in the same field, to the southwest. Star hopping to where the cluster should be, I find a 9.5 mag star, and then I see the cluster itself, a nuance further west. At 48x, it is an elongated (1:3) mottled glow oriented NW-SE. It is an elegant, soft object, in contrast to the now-bright 9.5 mag star to its east. A short line of stars can be made out, forming the SE edge of the cluster. At 96x, at least a dozen stars appear, forming a stretched-out 5' affair. The NW edge is marked by a nice double star. A second shorter chain penetrates into the centre of the grouping, coming from the direction of the 9.5 mag star. The impression of two star chains crossing each other is engaging.

From sketch page made at the telescope: "2004 March 24, 6-inch, Rifle Range; 21:30 SAST. MSA 962. Lower-power (25mm), an elongated (1:2) NW-SE oval glow, mottled. A bright star lies close outside east of the cluster. Very elegant, soft object.

Averted vision at low power:a line of stars NW-SE on the NE edge of cluster.

At high power, the cluster is a stretched-out affair; a row of stars SE and a double NW. A short row comes in at an angle from the NE, dividing the group in two.

At least 12 faint stars.

Double star on NW edge.

There is an asterism (or is it a Herschel doubtful/nonex?) on the same MSA chart, [09:41:42, -50:13]:

Whilst star hopping to NGC 2972, almost at my destination, I'm distracted by a pair of pair of 10.5 mag stars. Each pair is 1 arcmin apart, and the two pairs are 3 arcmin apart. It's an obvious grouping in the wide field of the sweeper eyepiece. A check on the star chart shows no special object, just the two pairs. Nevertheless, I pop in a higher magnification. At 96x and 133x, it's interesting enough to sketch. The eastern pair is now joined by two more stars, about 12th mag, forming a rough square. In total I plotted 10 stars down to about 12.5 mag. (The field is centred on 09h 41.7m, -50°13') Sketch made. Various eyepieces (48, 96, 133x) were used. From Tycho-2 values, looked up in Carte du Ciel, I get the following magnitudes: eastern-most pair 10.3 (top), 11.0 (bottom). western pair 10.8 (top), 10.4 (bottom). The star due east of 10.8 (top) is V=11.6. The dimmest star in the Tycho catalogue, V=12.1, is the middle star in the bottom east-west row of three. Comparing the sketch with a DSS image shows that my drawing is essentially complete.

1998 March 20

1998-03-20/21, 11x80 tripod-mounted binoculars, Stellenbosch Rifle Range site; seeing good. Extrmely small 10th mag star, hazy. Certain with averted vision; missed at first during casual viewing.

1998 February 18

1998 February 18/19, Stellenbosch Rifle Range site, 11x80 tripod-mounted. 5.8 naked eye. Noticed while studying the area, but still quite difficult. Near the right-angle a half-degree right-angled triangle of 7-8th magnitude stars. A round nebulous glow, with a very small star, and perhaps another, too, situated to one side of the glow.

1994 February 13

1994-02-13 02:00 Die Boord, 11x80's tripd-mounted. In a very rich field lies a 10th mag star which, with averted vision, has a very small hazy envelope.

1994 February 12

1994-02-12 23:00 Die Boord, 11x80s tripod-mounted. Looks like a faint (9-10th mag) star plus glow.

1994 January 21

1998 - 01 - 21, 22:00 11x80 tripod, 6.0 naked eye, Paradyskloof Rifle Range (Stellenbosch) A small patch, about 1 arcmin across. It has a 9.5m star on the edge; the other stars form a fuzzy glow to the north-west.

1994 January 19

1994-01-19: 11x80's, The Boord, 02:00 SAST Just visible as a faint presence near a right-angled triangle of stars. Needs averted vision to find, but can thereafter be held directly. Observed near the zenith.

1989

In 11x80 binoculars, the cluster is seen as a small, point-like nebulosity which can only occasionally be held directly. This faint nebulous point is best seen with averted vision.

Magda Streicher

2010 February 9

Location: Polokwane

16-inch f/10 SCT (127x 290x)

One the most intrigue cluster seen in a long time. The star-string formation had the impression of a stick man with his head up high towards the north. Two pairs of star-strings, one in a south-east and the other in a south-west direction. Another example of a group where the stars create a special impression.

2006 December 21

Pietersburg

16-inch f/10 SCT (102x, 290x)

Conditions: Good

A nice dainty faint grouping in a very much elongated stringy shape N-S. The faint splinter stars is situated close together. A short string of four faint stars points towards a relatively bright yellow 9-magnitude star towards the east.

1998 February 27

Location: Campsite (23 16 South 29 26 East)

Sky conditions: 7 magnitude clear.

Instrument: Meade 8" (Super wide angle 18mm eyepiece)

Date: 27 February 1998.

Meade 8" (Super flossel 26mm) Field of view 40.6 arc minutes.

Faint irregular loose stars together with a star to the south resemble to me Taurus' head with Aldebaran and the haydes.

1997 April 05

Location: Campsite (23 16 South 29 26 East)

Sky conditions: 7 magnitude clear.

Instrument: Meade 8" (Super wide angle 18mm eyepiece)

Pretty small open cluster with about 15 to 20 pinpoint stars. In a way it resembles the letter "A" with one bright star to the edge of this cluster. Considerably busy starfield. I estimate this open cluster about 7 to 8 magnitude in brightness, and 4' in size.

(no date)

8-inch f/10 SCT (EP: 1.25-inch 26mm SP 77x 41' fov; 1.25-inch 18mm SW 111x 36' fov)

Approximately 15 to 20 stars arranged in a loose grouping. What to me is rather apparent is the construction of stars. The cluster forms the letter "A" (head of Taurus) or partial cross-like structure is observed with the 9th magnitude star (Aldebaran) which marks out the eastern-end portion of the leg along with the proposed Hyades. A delicate glittering of diamonds in a well-dispersed busy star field. Discovered by James Dunlop.

Richard Ford

2013 April, 14th Sunday

Location:Perdeberg.

Time:12:24am.

Sky Conditions:The fainter parts of the Milky Way are barely visible.Haziness only visible on the horizon.Atmosphere stable with little interference.

Instrument:12-inch Dobsonian.

This open cluster is arranged in the shape of a delta and that this cluster is well detached.In this open cluster the stars are slightly concentrated towards each other and that most of the stars are nearly the same brightness as each other.This open cluster however consists of 11th to 12th magnitude stars with a bright 7th magnitude star which marks the eye of this cluster.This open cluster measures 6.2'x 4.7'.

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