Astronomy Picture of the Day

NGC 2266: Old Cluster in the New General Catalog

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NGC 2266: Old Cluster in the New General Catalog


The New General Catalog
of star clusters and nebulae really isn't so new.

In fact, it was
in 1888
- an attempt by
J. L. E.
to consolidate the work of astronomers

Caroline, and
John Herschel
along with others into a useful single, complete catalog of
astronomical discoveries and measurements.

Dreyer's work was successful and is still important today as
famous catalog continues
to lend its "NGC" to
bright clusters, galaxies, and nebulae.

Take for example this star cluster known as NGC 2266
(item number 2,266 in the NGC compilation).

It lies about 10,000 light-years distant in the constellation Gemini and
represents an open or galactic cluster.

With an age of about 1 billion years, NGC 2266 is old for a galactic

Its evolved red giant stars are readily
apparent in
this gorgeous
three-color image.

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