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NGC 3114 (6,621 of 18,816)

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NGC 3114

NGC 3114, Dunlop 297, Cl Collinder 215, Cl VDBH 86, Ocl 802.0, C 1001-598, COCD 234, Galaxy Cluster, Hand Cluster, h 3224, GC 2007

RA: 10h 02m 0s
Dec: −60° 06′ 0″

Con: Carina
Ch: MSA:993, U2:426, SA:25

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

(reference key)

Type: open cluster, 23r

Mag: B=4.47, V=4.2

Size: 35′
PA: ?

Image gallery

Sketches  (1)

Select a sketch and click the button to view

Historical observations

Dunlop, James (1827)

James Dunlop discovered this cluster from Paramatta, New South Wales, and included it as No.297 in his catalogue of 1827. Using a 9-inch f/12 telescope, he described it as "a beautiful cluster of stars, arranged in curvilinear lines intersecting each other, about 40' diameter, extended S.p., and N.f."

John Herschel

Sir John Herschel observed it at the Cape of Good Hope with an 18-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He recorded it for the first time as "The chief star 9th mag of a very large, loose, brilliant cluster, which fills many fields." A few days lates he wrote: "The chief star 8th mag of a very large, loose cluster of stars, 9..13th mag, which fills many fields. (As both this and the last observation are distinctly written and correctly reduced, no doubt they belong to two distinct and nearly equal stars on the same parallel)." His third observation was recorded as "An enormous congeries or clustering region of stars 2 or 3 fields in diameter, constituting a decided cluster. Stars 9..14th mag, the larger magnitudes predominating. There must be many hundreds. The place taken in the centre of a bright equilateral triangle."

Published comments

Bailey, S.I. (1908)

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

Diameter = 50'; Approximate number of stars = 200; magnitude range = 8-15; classification = D2.

D = "Irregualr clusters", D2 = "Fairly condensed, irregular, stars of different magnitude. Examples: NGC 869 and 884, NGC 4755"

Description: "cluster, fairly condensed, rich region of the Milky Way"

Melotte, P.J. (1915)

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

Description: "Well-defined, loose cluster in a rich region."

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.

Doig, P. (1925)

Doig, P. (1925) Notes on the nebulae and clusters in Webb's 'Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes' (Sixth edition, Vol.ii). Part III. Southern Objects. M.N.R.A.S., 36(3), 91.

Description: "thin irregular cluster about 50' diam. without condensation; brighter stars in circle round centre containing fainter star; distance 1,800 light years (Raab); diameter 26 light years."

Trumpler, R.J. (1928)

Trumpler (Lick Obs Bul, Vol 14, No. 420) gives the diameter as 37' and the class as II 3 r.

Lynga, Gosta (1960)

"UBV sequences in five southern galactic clusters" [http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1960ArA.....2..379L]

"Summary: Photoelectric sequences in the UBV system are determined for the galactic clusters NGC 2422, IC 2391, IC 2395, Tr 10, and NGC 3114 by means of the Rockefeller reflector of the Boyden Observatory in South Africa."

Lynga, Gosta (1962)

"On some southern galactic clusters" [http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1962ArA.....3...65L]

"Summary: Magnitudes and colours are determined for stars in the galactic clusters IC 2391, IC 2395, NGC 2470 [sic], Tr 10, and NGC 3114. Proper motions are used to determine membership in IC 2391 and Tr 10. The cluster properties are discussed."

Reports on an investigation of five southern galactic clusters (IC 2391, IC 2395, NGC 2670, Tr 10 and NGC 3114) which were "observed photoelectrically and photographically by the author during a stay in 1958 at the Boyden Observatory in South Africa." The 35.5-inch ADH Baker-Schmidt telescope was used, and the observers were Lynga, H. Haffner, and Bester.

Jankowitz & McCosh (1963)

See Jankowitz N E and McCosh C J "Photometric Observations of NGC 3114" MNASSA p 18 10.15.2 ["Magnitudes and colours on the UcBV system have been determined photoelectrically for 52 stars and photographically for 171 stars in the region of the open cluster NGC 3114. The resulting colour-colour and magnitude-colour diagrams indicate (i) a visual extinction of 0.27 mag, (ii) a distance of 910 parsecs, (iii) a diameter of 8.5 parsecs implying an average star density of approx one star per cubic parsec brighter than absolute magnitude +2.5 and (iv) an age between 60 million and 200 million years." The author notes that this cluster lies "in a fairly rich Milky Way field ... its approximate angular diameter is 32' but it is difficult to determine precisely because of the way in which the cluster merges into the surrounding starfield. The magnitudes of the stars range from 7.5 downwards and the number brighter than mag 15 certainly exceeds the 200 estimated by Bailey." The paper includes a 50'x60' diagram of the cluster and a 25'x 25' map of the central region]

Hogg, A.R. (1965)

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

L Cl of B and F * covering so much of the plate as to leave the estimate of the number of field stars open to question and to mask the very definite cluster like appearance on small scale plates.

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

(Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 4.5 mag open cluster.

Modern observations

Hartung, E.J. (1968) Astron.Obj.South.Tel

Hartung notes ".. the stars are very numerous on the dark sky in elegant pairs, triplets and small groups but with little central condensation."

Sanford (1989) Observing the Constellations

Sanford calls it a "first class galactic cluster containing about 100 stars .. needing a large field of view."

Harrington, Phil

Harrington calls this an "absolutely ravishing open cluster ... three 6th mag beacons rule over another 100 or so citizens in this brilliant stellar blaze. Since NGC 3114 spans 35 arc minutes, the best view will be through your lowest-power eyepiece or binoculars. I could only stare in silent awe when I saw NGC 3114 through my 11x80 glasses at last year's Winter Star Party. I also heard other binocularists nearby whimper their sadness that this cluster is not visible from back home."

Cozens, Glen

Glen Cozens writes that this cluser, "east of the False Cross, takes a snail's shape with its curving lines of stars. This cluster is impressive in an 8-inch telescope, which shows more than 120 luminaries."

Brian Skiff

YBS: * S of center = CPD-59 1752: V=6.18(?)/0.17.

eye - fairly difficult to see due to vbr Milky Way bkgrnd. BS, 21Feb1990, LCO.

15cm - big, rich, vbr cl wonderful @ 30x in 1.6-deg fld, where Milky Way ground

is m~13.5 at threshold---a thoroughly grainy surround! 30x: 1.2 deg diam

w/mod broad concen across center. main body 35' across and w/in this

there is little concen. 80x: about 300 *s in main body m10+ plus sev m8-9

fld *s scattered about, one being S of center.

Contemporary observations

Auke Slotegraaf

1994 January 19

1994-01-19: 11x80's, The Boord, 02:00 SAST This is a wonderful object. Every time I see it I remember the early 80's when I first saw it with a 2-inch refractor and 8x40's; I still think of it as the galaxy-cluster. It is distinctly visible to the naked eye as a luminous milky way patch. The central area of the cluster has an oval vacuity elongated northeast to southwest . Six 'arms' meander out from the central region, two of which have bright stars in or near their tips. It is a wonderfully textured object, and with prolonged study its borders with the neighbouring starfield is very poorly defined. My overall impression is either of a stylized, multi-armed spiral galaxy, or of a spider/octopus.

1997 April 14

1997 April 14, 02:00 - 04:00 Jonkershoek. 11x80's tripod-mounted. Spectacular cluster of a few large and many small stars; many chains and rows, and dark patches. [Above stylized sketch shows the main gist of the star chains.]

2008 December 22

Mount Ceder

11x80 Laser Optics binoculars

Conditions: Clear, dark.

Dieter Willasch's description of NGC 3114 as "The Hand Cluster" certainly deserves a high-five - the curves of stars do indeed look like an X-ray of a hand.

Magda Streicher

1999 February 14

Teleskoop: Meade 8"

Eyepiece - 25mm, 18mm wide angle, 15mm.

Date: 14 February 1999.

Large, bright, stretched-apart cluster concentrated slightly towards the middle. There is a bright star that is located inside and on the edge of the opening so that the appearance of a butterfly is called to mind. Stars are scattered around this butterfly pattern right to the edge of the field of view.

1999 March 7

Meade 12", 40mm eyepiece, 53' f.o.v.

Pietersburg; moderate light pollution

Large, bright, well-spread-out cluster of stars of differing magnitudes. Stars arranged in lines and groups. A bright reddish star is placed in the sparse field in such a manner that, with the surrounding stars, makes the pattern of a butterfly. (I think that on the farm [previous observation] fainter stars could be seen, that strengthened this impression).

The gap surrounded by stars stretches from the north. Further north are more sparse, dark, regions with a fine scattering of faint stars (A richly varied cluster).

(no date)

16-inch f/10 SCT (127x)

Open clusters are the easiest deep sky objects to study, and NGC 3114 was one of my first memorable objects in Carina. NGC 3114 is a large, bright cluster, its stars, haphazardly dispersed, coming in a range of magnitudes. On the southern edge of the grouping there is a curved chain of stars with a reddish 6th magnitude member that is brighter and outstanding against the rest of the cluster. The northern part of the cluster appears denser but fainter. The cluster is believed to be an ancient 110 million years old. Under ideal dark skies it can be glimpsed with the naked eye using averted vision. This is a show piece with character. It is very spacious between the various magnitude stars and stands out well against a busy star field.

Carol Botha

2007 March 19

Date: 2007 03 19, 20:30

Location: Bellville

Instrument: 8-inch Dobsonian, 25mm eyepiece

Sky: clear; light pollution and a inconsiderate neighbour!

Notes: Open cluster. Large. Looks like a flying bug. Stars wide spread. I see the curved line of stars on either side as its wings. Two bright yellow stars, a few scattered orange stars.

Gary Lillis

2008 March 18

2008 March 18, 20:00

Walmer, Port Elizabeth

2.5-inch f/7.6 refractor (EP: 25mm 28x 45arcmin fov)

Conditions: Quite stable, clear.

V=4.2, size=35arcmin. Very large and bright cluster. Contains many stars of uneven brightnessM6.8-9.8m well concentrated, however, divided into two sides by a dark lane running south to north; with a higher concentration of coarse stars on the eastern side (mag 8.1 � 9.2). The western size contains M 6.9 prominent star. Two other prominent stars situated toward the southern part of the cluster of same brightness M6.8, both well contrasted by the coarse stars of the cluster mag 8.7-9. NGC 3114 is a noticeable cluster one degree south of a bright M6.5 field star.

Pierre de Villiers

2016 February 05, Friday

Location: Bonnievale SSP (Night Sky Caravan Park)

Telescope: Skywatcher 200-mm f/5, Delos 8-mm (0.57-deg fov)

Sky conditions: Good (8.5/10)

Quality of observation: Good

Striking open cluster looking almost crab-like with head and 4 claws visible. m 4; size core 15-arcmin (35-arcmin cat).

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