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NGC 5617 (12,444 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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NGC 5617

NGC 5617, Dunlop 302, Cl Collinder 282, C 1426-605, Cl VDBH 159, Ocl 919, COCD 353, Bennett 65, h 3570, GC 3885

RA: 14h 29m 48s
Dec: −60° 43′ 0″

Con: Centaurus
Ch: MSA:985, U2:430, SA:25

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

(reference key)

Type: open cluster, 13r

Mag: B=7, V=6.3

Size: 10′
PA: ?

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Sketches  (1)

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Historical observations

Dunlop, James (1827)

James Dunlop discovered this cluster while observing from Paramatta, New South Wales, and included it as No. 302 in his catalogue of 1827. Using a 9-inch f/12 telescope, he described it as "A cluster of small stars of mixt mags, considerably congregated towards the centre, 4' or 5' diameter."

John Herschel

Observed by John Herschel at the Cape of Good Hope with an 18-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He recorded it as a "Class VI object, very rich; irregularly round; pretty much compressed in the middle, but scattered at borders; 15'; there are three stars of 10th mag, 5 or 6 of 11th mag; the rest below 11th mag." On a second occassion he called it a "cluster of Class VII; irregular figure; not much compressed in the middle; large; 10' diameter. There are perhaps 100 stars, 11th and 11..12th mag; with a good sprinkling of 12 and 13." His final observation recorded it as "large, pretty rich, irregular cluster of scattered stars of 8..14th mag; fill field." The NGC description reads "large, pretty rich, pretty compressed in the middle, stars of 8th mag and fainter."

Published comments

Trumpler, R.J. (1928)

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

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.

Hogg, A.R. (1965)

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

Melotte, P.J. (1915)

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

Bailey, S.I. (1908)

"cluster, fairly condensed."

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

Moffat, A.F.J. & Vogt. N. (1975)

Moffat, AFJ & Vogt. N. (1975) "Southern Open Star Clusters VI. UBV-H-beta Photometry of 18 Clusters from Centaurus to Sagittarius." Astron.Astrophys.Suppl., 20, 155-182. [image, table]

d = 1.34 kpc.

Doig, P. (1926)

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

"loose; bright stars at centre." He gives the approx. diameter as 20 arcmin.

Burnham's Celestial Handbook

Burnham calls this open cluster in Centaurus large, pretty rich, pretty compressed in the middle, about 50 stars of 8th mag and fainter. Lies 80' west of Alpha Centauri. Also known as Collinder 282, Trumpler described this cluster as detached from the background starfield, strongly concentrated toward the centre, large range in brightness, rich in stars. Its 80 or so stars occupy a 10' region, the brightest star is mag 10.0 and the combined mag is 6.3.

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 8.5 mag open cluster.

Modern observations

Hartung, E.J. (1968)

Hartung calls it a "fine open cluster about 15' across with some central condensation, in a rich and beautiful region; it is well shown by 10.5cm."

Bennett, Jack

Bennett observed it with a 5-inch short-focus refractor, including it in his list of cometary objects as number 65. His coded description describes it as an irregular extended object which can be resolved into stars with a higher magnification.

Brian Skiff

15cm - mod lg/br cl well concen twd center. 140x: 15' diam w/120 *s m10.5+. 3'

core w/25 *s incl sev mod interesting pairs. BS, 24Feb1990, LCO.

Contemporary observations

Gabriel Giust

1995 June 19

8-inch Newtonian, 66x: 1995-06-19 "A group of faint stars (10) surrounded by various brighter ones (9) that I believe do not form part of the cluster. I consider it of class II with a concentration to the centre. It seems that there are two groups of stars in terms of brightness. The brighter are pictured in the sketch, over a whitish background that I could not resolve. Medium richness." [Gabriel Giust, San Isidro, Argentina]

Auke Slotegraaf


This small sprinkling of stars lies close to Alpha Centauri, only 80' west, and in a two-inch refractor at 25x, the glare from Alpha Cen is irritating. Averted vision shows quite a number of cluster members sparkling out, with the main concentration of stars seeming to lie in a bar extending north-south. Due south of the cluster lies a narrow diamond of roughly 9th mag stars, shown on the Uranometria 2000.0 charts.

1994 January 19

1994-01-19: 11x80's, The Boord, 02:00 SAST Easily seen as an irregular patch, with a narrow diamond of stars attached.

1995 May 28

1995-05-28: 11x80.Technopark. 20:15 SAST. Hazy sky, thin clouds. Between Alpha and Beta Centauri. Binoculars show an irregular scattering of dim stars, individually too faint to be seen, forming a rough glowing patch. Not at all comet-like.

1997 September 03

1997 Sept 03: 11x80 tripod-mounted. 23:00 SAST. Jonkershoek. Irregular milky patch, in a very rich field, of which it seems to be a part. Rating: Easy.

Magda Streicher

1997 April

Location: Camp Site: ( South 23 16 East 29 26 )

Sky conditions: clear fair about 6 magnitude.

Instrument: 8 inch Meade ( super wide-angle 18 mm. Eyepiece ).

Date: April 1997.

An excellent example of a packed, large roundish open cluster. Brighter to the middle with stars forming a (straight?) line running out to the east in a medium to rich starfield.

1999 February 14

Meade 8-inch, 25mm, 18mm wide angle & 15mm eyepieces

Date: 14 February 1999. (Gert en Mary op die plaas 14 Februarie 1999)

Open Cluster, Centaurus, 14h 29m 8s, -60 43

Reasonably bright, poor, narrow, shapeless cluster, with stars tightly concentrated in the centre. On opposite side, two starchains extends outwards into the field (from the north and south). The cluster appears like a stretched-out, narrow band of reasonably bright stars with a tight compact middle.

(no date)

12-inch f/10 SCT (EP: 2-inch 32mm SW 95x 42' fov; 2-inch 14mm UW 218x 23' fov)

Reasonably large, shapeless, delicate and bright open cluster, rich in stars. Gives the impression of an outstretched speckled band north to south with bright stars running out in lines and circles away from a packed core. A small patch of faint stars grouped in the south east of the field of view is probably an extension (95x). Two star strings are prominent ľone in the north, the other one displays a short string of about 6 faint stars in a line pointed south (218x). Very impressive, and share a very busy star field.

Richard Ford

2013 May 11th, Saturday



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.

NGC 5617 is a well detached compact cluster in which I have counted 160 stars in a fixed diameter and that this object has bright and faint stars being mixed together.This open clusters stars are arranged in a north-south direction and that this objects stars are in the magnitude range of 9.2 to 10.1.This open cluster measures 8.5'x 6'.

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