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Southern Beehive (4,945 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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Lacaille II.3

Southern Beehive, Lacaille II.3, NGC 2516, Cl Collinder 172, C 0757-607, Ocl 776.0, COCD 175, Caldwell 96, h 3111, GC 1619

RA: 07h 58m 6s
Dec: −60° 45′ 0″

Con: Carina
Ch: MSA:467, U2:424, SA:24

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

(reference key)

Type: open cluster, 13r

Mag: B=3.84, V=3.8

Size: 30′
PA: ?

Image gallery

Sketches  (2)

Select a sketch and click the button to view

Historical observations

Lacaille (1755)

This cluster was discovered by Lacaille and included in his 1755 catalogue as Class II No. 3. In his half-an-inch 8x telescope he saw it as a "very close group of 10-12 stars."

John Herschel (1847) Cape Observations

Sir John Herschel observed it frequently while at the Cape of Good Hope with an 18-inch f/13 speculum telescope. His first record reads: "An orange-coloured star 8th magnitude, in middle of a large and magnificent cluster of perhaps 200 to 250 stars 8..16th mag. Many of the larger magnitudes, and really a superb object. Very visible to the naked eye, etc." His second entry reads: "Place of a double star in a fine scattered pretty rich cluster of large stars, which fills field, and may contain 150 stars, large and small. No other remarkable double star in it." His next entry describes it as "A star 6th magnitude, one of the chief of a large splendid cluster, coarse, filling field, 20'..25' diam., stars 9..13 mag." His fourth observation saw it as "a star 6th magnitude, in a superb, very large cluster. Rich and brilliant. In the northern part about 20 seconds; following this star is a star of 5th magnitude, ruddy. Has two or three neat doubles in it. The whole region is rich in large stars." His final observation was recorded as: "chief double star is a fine cluster 7th class, stars 7..12 mag. Fills field, and has outlying stars two or three fields preceding."

NGC/IC Dreyer (1888, 1895, 1908)

The NGC records it as "cluster of stars, very bright, very large, pretty rich, stars 7..13 mag."

Published comments

Melotte, P.J. (1915)

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

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

Thin irr. cluster about 100' diam., large number of fairly B*; condensed.

Doig, P. (1926)

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

"thin, irreg., with some bright stars, visible to the naked eye." He gives the approx. diameter as 80 arcmin.

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.

Trumpler, R.J. (1928)

Trumpler (Lick Obs Bul, Vol 14, No. 420) gives the diameter as 50' and the class as 1 3 r.

Photo index

Photo Index by Jim Lucyk: Burnhams V1 p474.

Burnham's Celestial Handbook

Burnham calls it a "large and brilliant group, easily visible to the naked eye, with more than a 100 stars scattered over a field 1 degree in diameter. The bright red giant star near the centre is very obvious in small telescopes; T.W. Webb called it orange.

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 3.5 mag open cluster.

Modern observations

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

Hartung calls it a "beautiful open cluster, at least 50' across, needs a large field and makes then a glorious sight with its scattered groups and irregular spray of stars, effective for small apertures. A dainty pair h.4031 (7.8, 8.7, 6 arcsec, 358 ) is S.f. from the centre and another, h.4027 (10.0, 10.2, 9 arcsec, 115 ), is 10' preceding."

Cozens, Glen

Glen Cozens writes: "NGC 2516 at the False Cross' foot is one of the Southern Hemisphere's best open clusters and is easily visible to the naked eye as a distant frosty glow. A dazzling red star forms the heart of NGC 2516, and a small telescope will show more than 100 stars radiating from it."

Harrington, Phil

Harrington writes that this is "an impressive open cluster isolated in western Carina ... On dark, clear winter nights, it is visible as a soft, pale smudge spanning about a Moon's diameter. Yet with the slightest optical aid it erupts in starlight! Seven-power binoculars resolve about a third of the 80 component stars, while a 6-inch telescope can show just about all. A trio of orange orbs dominate the scene of otherwise pure white stars. ... I also heard other binocularists [at the Winter Star Party] whimper their sadness that [this] cluster is not visible from back home."

Bahr-Vollrath, Gerd (1992)

Gerd Bahr-Vollrath (Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia) writes in The Webb Society Nebulae and Clusters Section Report No. 11, January 1993: "A large, bright and moderately dense cluster with around 60 stars of a wide range of brightnesses. Visible to the naked eye. (8-inch f/12 SCT)"

Brian Skiff

Dachs 1989: br * NE = HR3153 = HD 66342 = Cox 110, V=5.19/1.76/M1IIa; is 16'.9 NE of Dachs 35 nr center. pair NE = Dachs 55AB = I1104: V=9.5,9.6; 8".7; -. br pair nr center = Dachs 44AB = h4031: V=7.2,8.0; 5".5; -. grp W = Dachs 71-74 + unnumbered * = h4027.

eye - consp at S foot of False Cross. BS, 18Feb1990, LCO.

7x35mm - 20 *s res, well concen to irres but very *ry center. general haziness reaches as far as m5 * NE. BS, 21Feb1990, LCO.

15cm - 30x/1.6 deg fld shows it all: 1.2 deg diam, many m5-6 *s, mod even concen across center. main body 25' diam, defined by orange m6 * on NE edge. 200 *s counted here @ 80x. mod close pairs: nr center, S side of core, NE side of core, and string of five on W side. two patches w/o brtr *s NE & NW of core. BS, 18Feb1990, LCO.

Contemporary observations

Carol Botha

2007 November 10

Date: 2006 11 10

Location: Betty's Bay

Instrument: 8-inch Dobsonian, 17mm eyepiece

Sky: scattered clouds; average

Notes: Open cluster. Different coloured stars. Orange star in the middle. Stars are grouped into two triangles � which fit into a large triangle. Looks almost like a Xmas tree with lights on the tips of the branches.

Chris Vermeulen

2006 March 29

2006/3/29, 22h05

Sky Conditions: Poor: Cloudy

Quality of Observation: Moderate

Ngwenya Lodge

6" Dobsonian, 25mm & 10mm Eyepieces

NCG2516 is an open cluster that rivals M41, observed earlier. Being about 2 or even 3 times larger than Little Beehive open cluster, it is clearly visible to the naked eye and appears as a very distinctively cloudy/fuzzy object north of Canopus in Carina. At 48x magnification the loosely arranged stars become more apparent with two red/orange coloured stars on the edge of the cluster shining very prominently.

Gary Lillis

2007 June 08

2007 June 08, 19:30 SAST

Walmer, Port Elizabeth

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

Running Man Cluster. Size=30arcmin, V=3.8. Well-defined, very large constellation, high concentration of faint coarse stars averaging at M10.5, featuring a faint red star M9.8, many of the coarse stars are quite well resolved. Five prominent stars house the coarser stars, fairly equal in brightness and spacing M7.4-M7.9. The coarse stars within NGC 2516 are well concentrated against the dark starless gaps on the NW and SE. Fairly bright field stars east HD 65907 20arcmin M8, 16arcmin further in the E HD 66341 M8.1. South-east 1.5 degrees M7 HD 68456.

Magda Streicher

(no date)

Alldays (22.50S, 20.12E, 770m).

12-inch f/10 SCT (218x)

Beautiful, large, widely-space, slightly extended NW open cluster, a good example of stars closely associated. Bright, individual stars stand out to the right of the cluster. A beautiful example of a very rich open cluster. The entire cluster is sprinkled with a variety of different coloured stars one very red. Slightly elongated in a NS to EW direction with prominent chains of stars. Numerous double stars are apparent in the cluster which also sports a lovely red-coloured star positioned nearest the main concentration. Two of the stars end in a chains. Two darker areas are also apparent in the east and west of the centre of the cluster, and it looks more busy in the southern part. I will get back to this one to study it in more detail and a sketch.

(no date)

Location: Campsite.

Telescope: Meade 8" - 18mm wide angle eyepiece.

Verslag 6

Open Cluster; Carina; 7h 58m 3s; -60 52

Beautiful, large, widely-spaced, slightly extended (north west) open cluster, a good example of stars sharing together. Bright, individuals stars standing out and coming to their right.

Auke Slotegraaf

2002 July 01

Stellenbosch (Paradyskloof Rifle Range)

11x80 tripod-mounted binoculars (12.5-mm aperture mask)

Conditions: Dark moon. Slight easterly breeze. NELM approx 5.5 at the pole. Dew.

Bright, large, very rich cluster. Remarkable. Obvious with the naked eye as a mottled glow. At first sight, the wide field of the binoculars show four conspicuous stars, three in an arc, the fourth obviously orange. Immediately south is NGC 2516, a very very rich open cluster, with five large and a host of small stars. Down to 9th magnitude, there are at least 30 stars, and many more can be seen with averted vision. The orange star mentioned is HR 3153, (V = 5.17, B�V = +1.74). Lacaille's description: Puzzling. Lacaille says "10 to 12 stars" � I see 5 stars as prominent and the rest of very similar, considerably fainter, magnitude.

1998 April 27

1998-04-27/28, 11x80 tripod-mounted binoculars, Die Boord. Seeing average, transparency average, dew. "Moderately bright cluster, clearly resolved into stars. Several (five) bright stars near at hand, not part of the cluster; an orange one northeast, and a fainter orange one northwest. The brightest stars in the cluster form a 6' long triangle; the westernmost two are orange, and the most westerly has a small companion close northeast. From this triangle, much fainter stars are scattered irregularly about, in a 17' area sweeping to the north, though northwest, to a westerly direction. Within this space, more than a dozen stars are counted, and many more sparkle out with averted vision. Should be wonderful in the 6-inch.

1998 January 26

1998-01-26/27, 6-inch f/8.6 Newtonian, Stellenbosch Rifle Range site. Stunning extremely large (more than fills 40 arcmin field) open cluster. Great brightness range - large and smalls stars. A curved row of three 6/7th mag stars to the north. Many dark, open areas within. Twenty brightest stars (including two pale-yellow and four orange stars, and two sets of wide coloured double stars), with a further estimated 80 fainter ones. The richest region lies to the south, while there are two noticeable dark regions, one on the western side, another on the eastern side. The two patches are well shown with the K9mm at 144x.

1997 October 28

1997 October 28, Tue/Wed: Jonkershoek, seeing 3, transparency 3, sky darkness 4, lim.mag. at south pole 6.0 (naked eye), 10.7 (binoculars). 11x80 tripod-mounted. "What a splendid sight! A glorious mass of stars on a rich field. The main body of the cluster is a regular-sided diamond, lying north-south/east-west, and filled with stars. A broad bridge of stars and stardust goes briefly northwards, and then branches east and west, each branch ending in an orange star. The bridge has a small but distinct black oval in its centre. On the east and west side of the bridge, also, are black vacancies, helping to define the bridge. The eastern tip of the diamond is capped by a bright off-white star. West of this star, near where the bridge comes out, is an almost equal double star (southern component brighter). Within the diamond, I count 22 large and small stars; amidst these is an unresolved glow."


A 10-inch f/5 at 30x shows it as a beautiful scattered group of bright and faint stars, gaurded on its west and north by three bright stars. Many streamers can be traced with the eye. Near the centre of the cluster is wide, equal double star, with one component, towards the south, clearly red in colour. One of the far northern outliers also appears red.


The cluster is almost a degree in diameter, clearly visible to the naked eye just west and slightly south of the tip of the False Cross.

It is best seen with a large binocular; it is a stunning sight through 11x80 binoculars. It has both large and small stars. The brighter stars are coarsely scattered whereas the fainter stars lie lumped to one side.


Viewing with a 2-inch refractor, there is a red star in the centre, along with several multiples visible using slightly higher magnification.

Richard Ford

2010 February 14,Sunday


Instrument:12"Dobsonian Reflector Telescope.

Sky Conditions:Dark moon and stars magnitude 6 and fainter are barely visible with the naked eye.

Transparency of the Sky:The most clear sky possible.

Seeing:Excellent clean sky,limited star flickering and brilliant objects.

Limiting Magnitude:6.5.

First Impression:Open Cluster.



Chart Number:No.15(Extract taken out of "Atlas of the Night Sky").

Size:26mm Eyepiece:Field Of View:57'/1=57'

20mm Eyepiece:Field Of View:50'/1=50'.



Brightness:Very Bright.

Brightness Profile:High Surface Brightness.

Challenge Rating:A spectacular sight to observe in a large telescope under very dark skies.



This open cluster is large as far as most clusters are concerned due to the fact that it fills up the field of view when observed through a 26mm super wide field eyepiece and a 20mm ultra wide angle eyepiece.This open cluster is well separated from each other.This cluster is well composed of over 200 bright stars.Apparently most of the stars in this cluster are nearly the same brightness as each other.However by observing this cluster the stars are not concentrated towards each other.This cluster also has an irregular appearance of bright stars.I found in this cluster there are plenty of starless patches observed.However, towards the central outskirts of this cluster there is a slight chain of bright stars.No glow of unresolved nebulosity is observed.Towards the centre of the cluster I noticed a bright individual white star.Towards the central outskirts of this cluster the double stars are slightly resolved.No colour has been resolved in this cluster.

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)

Binoculars: Canon 12x36 IS (5-deg fov)

Sky conditions: Good (8.5/10)

Quality of observation: Good

Impressive open cluster with clearly defined patterns. 25 brightest stars. m = 4. Size about 20-arcmin.

Favourite lists

Lacaille's catalogue

The Messier objects

Dunlop's catalogue

The Bennett objects

The Caldwell list

Named DSOs

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