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NGC 4463 (9,639 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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NGC 4463

NGC 4463, Cl Collinder 260, C 1227-645, Cl VDBH 135, Ocl 885, COCD 313, h 3395, GC 3015

RA: 12h 30m 0s
Dec: −64° 47′ 0″

Con: Musca
Ch: MSA:1002, U2:450, SA:25

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

(reference key)

Type: open cluster, 13m

Mag: B=7.62, V=7.2

Size: 3.5′
PA: ?

Image gallery

Sketches  (3)

Select a sketch and click the button to view

Photos  (1)

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Historical observations

John Herschel (1847) Cape Observations

Discovered by Sir John Herschel at the Cape of Good Hope with an 18-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He recorded it as "Cluster VIII class; poor; scattered. The northern of two stars 8th mag taken."

Published comments

Trumpler, R.J. (1928)

Trumpler (Lick Obs Bul, Vol 14, No. 420) gives the diameter as 5' and the class as 1 3 p.

Hogg, A.R. (1965)

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

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

Vogt. N. & Moffat, AFJ (1973), "Southern Open Star Clusters III." Astron.Astrophys.Suppl., 10, 135-193. [image, table]

d = 1.24 kpc.

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

(Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 8.0 mag open cluster.

Modern observations

ASV Journal (1971)

ASV Journal Vol 24 No 3 June 1971: "small U-shaped cluster."

Brian Skiff

QBS: diffrac spikes of m9 *s line up exactly---pa0! cl looks concen around

Nrn *. string E identified.

15cm - nice cl of f *s dominated by two m9 *s aligned N-S. 30 *s in 5' diam at

140x, well concen twd cen and Srn of the two br *s; a f knot at center

close to this *. 20' E twd Coalsack is remarkable sl curved string of

f *s 20' long running NE-SW. it is incredibly well collimated. Coalsack

boundary here is diffuse. BS, 23Feb1990, LCO.

Contemporary observations

Auke Slotegraaf


1994-02-16, 00:30, Jonkershoek, 11x80's tripod mounted, dewing. On the Musca-Crux border, within a beautiful field of dark nebulosity lies this very small cluster. It shows as a tight knot of stars with a close pair of 9th mag stars dominating. The nebulous nature is apparent when sweeping.


1998-01-30/31. Unitron 4-inch f/14.7 refractor. Die Boord. In sweeper eyepiece, 38 arcmin fov, two 9th mag stars, lying roughly north-south, in nebulosity. This tiny cluster appears quite lost in the (large) field of view, but its haziness makes it easily seen. Closer attention (K18) shows a coarse cluster, about 5 arcmin across, of large and small stars. Fainter stars lie to the west of the two brighter ones (which show no colour). Using up to 214x (K7mm) on the cluster, not many more stars seen. Sketch made, showing about a dozen stars.

2009 January 27

Sutherland (Huis Lana)

"Bertha" 12-inch f/4.8 Dobsonian (EP: 32mm, 25mm, 10mm, 6.3mm Plossls, 2x Barlow, 32mm Erfle)

Conditions: Clear, dark.

On the fringe of the Coal Sack, near the foot of the Cross, lies NGC 4463, according to the Millennium Star Atlas. At 120x, it's not really a cluster at all. I see here two bright stars and 20 others, loosely scattered, and not really distinct from the background. (D: 20090127/28. MSA 1002)

Magda Streicher

2002 May 20

"Has the appearance of a blunt arrow, with dropping shoulders. This is another open cluster or star chain of about 12 stars, grouped together into an attractive shape. At the heart of the cluster lies a 9th magnitude white star, the other stars of the cluster fading to around 12th magnitude."

[Sketch made, scanned in and submitted.]

(no date)

(8-inch Meade, 26mm eyepiece, 40' fov)

Large, bright pretty open cluster contains about 12 stars. Very elongated (south to north) resembles a tree or the Christian fish sign. On top of this tree a bright yellow white star (2 magnitudes brighter) with fainter stars hanging from the branches lower down on both sides. Very much spacious, spans across my field of view .

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