Open Cluster Messier 36

Messier 36: Section of the STScI Digitized Sky Survey [147]


M 36 is the first of the three bright Messier star clusters in the constellation Auriga. The other two are M 37 and M 38. It was discovered in 1654 by Giovanni Hodierna and then again in 1749 by Guillaume Le Gentil and in 1764 by Chales Messier. [4, 196]

Physical Properties

The star cluster is of the Trumpler type II3m and contains about 60 stars from 9th to 14th magnitude. The center with the brightest stars measures about 10 arc minutes in diameter and contains the binary star Struve 737 (Σ 737, ADS 4194, distance 10.7 "). M 36 is one of the younger star clusters with bright B-type stars and no red giants ranging from 1200 Up to 1318 pieces. [4, 145]

Revised+Historic NGC/IC, Version 22/9, © Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
DesignationNGC 1960
TypeOCL (II3m)
Right Ascension05h 36m 17.7s
Declination+34° 08' 27"
Diameter10 arcmin
Visual magnitude6.0 mag
Metric Distance1.318 kpc
Dreyer DescriptionCl, B, vL, vRi, lC, st 9…11 sc
Identification, RemarksM 36, OCL 445

Finder Chart

The open star cluster is located within the pentagon in the constellation Auriga (Charioteer) and is visible to the naked eye on a dark night. The best observation time is September to April.

Chart Open Cluster Messier 36
Open Cluster Messier 36 in constellation Auriga. Charts created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. Limiting magnitudes: Constellation chart ≈ 6.5 mag, DSS2 close-ups ≈ 20 mag. [149, 160]

Visual Observation

Description pending ...

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