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Lacaille I.8 (13,710 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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Lacaille I.8

Lacaille I.8, Dunlop 514, NGC 6124, Cl Collinder 301, C 1622-405, COCD 373, Caldwell 75, h 3626, GC 4184

RA: 16h 25m 18s
Dec: −40° 39′ 0″

Con: Scorpius
Ch: MSA:1461, U2:407, SA:22

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

(reference key)

Type: open cluster, 13r

Mag: B=6.7, V=5.8

Size: 39′
PA: ?

Historical observations

Lacaille (1755)

This open cluster was discovered by Lacaille and included in his 1755 catalogue as Class I No. 8. In his half-an-inch 8x telescope he saw it as "a fairly big tailless comet."

Dunlop, James (1827)

James Dunlop observed this object from Paramatta, New South Wales, and included it as No. 514 in his catalogue of 1827. Using a 9-inch f/12 telescope, he described it as "a round cluster of small stars of nearly equal magnitudes, about 12' diameter, considerably congregated to the centre, not rich in small stars. This answers to the palce of 44 Normae, but there is no nebula."

NGC/IC Dreyer (1888, 1895, 1908)

The NGC entry reads "bright, large, pretty rich, slightly compressed in the middle, stars of mag. 9..11."

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 "cluster, bright, large, loosely scattered, not much compressed in the middle, fills nearly a field, consists of about 50 or 60 stars 9..11th mag." On a second occassion he wrote "Viewed; a brilliant cluster class VII.; p rich, L, irregularly scattered, fills field, stars 8,9,10,11th mag."

Published comments

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)

Journal BAA, 36(3), Dec, p91

circular, 36' diam., distinct condensation.

Melotte, P.J. (1915)

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

Doig, P. (1926)

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

"circular; gradually condensing towards centre." He gives the approx. diameter as 30 arcmin.

Trumpler, R.J. (1928)

Trumpler (Lick Obs Bul, Vol 14, No. 420) gives the diameter as 25' and the class as 1 3 r.

Trumpler classified it as detached from surrounding starfield, strongly concentrated towards the centre, large range in stellar magnitudes. Shining at magnitude 5.8, its 100 or so members span almost half a degree of sky and require a large field to appreciate.

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.

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 6.5 mag open cluster.

Modern observations

Steve Coe

Steve Coe, observing with a 17.5" f/4.5 at 100X, notes: "Bright, large, round, not compressed, about 100 stars at 100X. This beautiful cluster almost fills the 30' field of view and includes several nice chains of stars and some lovely pairs of stars.

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

According to Hartung, "it contains several orange stars as well as numerous pairs, triplets and small groups" and is quite well shown in a 4-inch telescope.

Tom Lorenzin

Tom Lorenzin, in the e-version of "1000+ The Amateur Astronomers' Field Guide to Deep Sky Observing", notes: "6M; 25' diameter; very large and bright; 70-plus 9M and dimmer members; good binocular object; if your S sky permits, look for planetary N6153 (11.5M; 25" diameter) 70' to ENE of N6124's core."

Contemporary observations

Magda Streicher

no date

(8-inch Meade, 18mm Super-Wide Angle eyepiece, 36' fov)

Good example of a bright, very large open cluster. To the middle the stars clumped together in a circular, then radiate uniformly outward in-groups and lanes. Pretty irregular, looks like if one can pear into the cluster with stars coming up and down. To the south of this cluster stars extended lopsided.

(no date)

16-inch f/10 SCT (127x)

Good example of a bright, very large open cluster. To the middle the stars clumped together in a circular, then radiate uniformly outward in-groups and lanes. Pretty irregular, looks like if one can pear into the cluster with stars coming up and down. To the south of this cluster stars extended lopsided. Double star in the western and southern fringes. Dark lanes can be seen towards the NW in the outer parts. The inner part is nice and tight. Faint stars mingle well with the eastern part of the field.

Kerneels Mulder

2008 October 31

Date and Time: 31 October 2008, 20:20
Location: Prince Albert (Western Cape, South Africa).
Instrument: Orion XT10 10" f/4.7 Dobsonian Reflector
Eyepieces: 10mm (120x, 26′ FOV), 25mm (48x, 1� FOV)
Sky Conditions: Clear. Seeing: 5/10. Transparency: Average
Windy, waxing crescent moon

48x: Large open cluster approximately 30′ in size. Irregular shape. About 44 stars of varying brightness are easily countable. Stars slightly concentrated towards central region with 13 stars closely grouped together.

Auke Slotegraaf

2016 October 30, Sunday

Location: Night Sky Caravan Park, Bonnievale.

Date: 2016 Oct 30, Sunday.

Time: 20:35 SAST

Telescope: Little Martin (4-inch f/6.5 Celestron refractor)

19mm Panoptic (35x): Easily seen. A beautiful large scattered cluster of at least 45 moderately bright stars, of pretty uniform brightness. Overall it is irregularly round. The inner third of the cluster is dense, while the outer two-thirds is sparse. Rough sketch made. Two knots of stars, each about 2' across, are near the centre or a bit to the north. Two bright (7.4-mag.) field stars lie approximately south-west of the cluster; their separation is 10'26". The cluster is about twice this, giving a diameter of 21'.


1998-04-27/28, 11x80 tripod-mounted binoculars, Die Boord. Seeing average, transparency average, dew. "Superb!! A large, 30' moderately rich swarm of faint and very faint stars. More compact to the northwest. Nebulous while sweeping, it is clearly resolved when closer attention is paid."


In 11x80 binoculars, this is a most interesting and pleasing object. It appears as a pretty large cluster, consisting of not-too-bright stars of similar magnitude. The stars are grouped so as to form an irregular gathering, crowding together at the northern edge of the cluster. It is a remarkable object because, when sweeping quickly, the faint stars blur together, and you get the impression of vague nebulosity. When you then stop and backtrack, you immediately see the faint pinpoints of light and realize it is an open, well spread out cluster consisting of comparatively faint stars.


A 15.5-inch reflector at 220x shows that this large, scattered cluster has about a dozen bright members and many smaller stars. It fits snuggly into a 23' field of view, and invites the eye to "connect-thedots" and trace out asterisms, of which there are many. For example, you can find a tiny Southern Cross, a Triangulum and a Musca. The cluster is nice for creating figures, but too well spread out to be exciting as a whole.

Gary Lillis

2008 May 27

2008 May 27, 21:50

Walmer, Port Elizabeth

2.5-inch f/7.6 refractor (EP: 12.5mm 56x 30arcmin fov)

Conditions: Good, stable.

Size=29arcmin, V=5.8. Tricky to find. Rich in coarse stars of roughly even brightness M8.7-M9.3. 56x reveals stars more clearly, there are rich gatherings of coarse unresolved stars through the cluster fainter than mag 9.3, one gathering in particular contains seven or so stars of the 9th magnitude in the northwestern part of the cluster ending a double chain of 8th mag stars southeast-northwest across the centre. NGC 6124 is a evenly spaced cluster with two field stars 30arcmin southwest M7.4 and M7.5.

Carol Botha

2010 -07 - 17, Saturday

Location:Betty's Bay

Time: 20;30

Telescope: 12" Dobsonian � f4,9. Eyepiece 15mm. FOV- 36'

Sky conditions: Seeing 3/5 (gibbous Moon)

Actual dimensions:26' x26' (Cartes Du Ciel)

Object description:

Globular cluster in Scorpius

Core seems to be elongated to the E, less dense to the S, slightly brighter to the W and does not look like a regular globular cluster. Many stars resolved.

Opulance in abundance: the globular seems to be draped in strings of pearls.A prominent curved string of stars lie across the core from E-SW. To the N of this string is a triangle of bright stars.

Favourite lists

Lacaille's catalogue

The Messier objects

Dunlop's catalogue

The Bennett objects

The Caldwell list

Named DSOs

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Type of object to include:

open cluster
globular cluster
planetary nebula
bright nebula
dark nebula
galaxy cluster
asterism & stars

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