Open Cluster NGC 2266

NGC 2266
NGC 2266: Open cluster in Gemini; 500 mm Cassegrain f=3625mm / f7.2; SBIG STL11K; 160+3*40 min LRGB; Bernese Highlands; © 2015 Radek Chromik


The open star cluster NGC 2266 was discovered on 7 December 1785 by the German-British astronomer William Herschel with its 18.7 inch reflector. [277]

Physical Properties

The cluster is of the Trumpler type II2m, measures about 7 arc minutes in diameter and has an apparent magnitude of 10. [277]

Also known as Melotte 50, NGC 2266 is a small, compact star cluster made up of more than 190 stars, most of them main sequence stars, and a clump of 11 red giants. Its age is estimated at 1.2 billion years, about the age of the Hyades or Praesepe. It is about 11.3 kpc from the galactic center, 600 pc above the galactic plane and 2.80 ± 0.15 kpc from us. [381, 382, 383]

Revised+Historic NGC/IC, Version 22/9, © Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
DesignationNGC 2266
TypeOCL (II2m)
Right Ascension06h 43m 19.2s
Declination+26° 58' 10"
Diameter5 arcmin
Visual magnitude9.5 mag
Metric Distance3.040 kpc
Dreyer DescriptionCl, pS, eC, Ri, st 11…15
Identification, RemarksOCL 471

Finder Chart

The open star cluster NGC 2266 is located in the constellation of Gemini. The best viewing time is October to April.

Chart Open Cluster NGC 2266
Open Cluster NGC 2266 in constellation Gemini. Chart created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. [149, 160]

Visual Observation

400 mm aperture: It's a pretty unspectacular open cluster with three brighter stars in a row. — Taurus T400 f/4.5 Dobsonian, Bernd Nies, Glaubenberg Langis, 28 February 2022

More Objects Nearby (±15°)


149SkySafari 6 Pro, Simulation Curriculum;
160The STScI Digitized Sky Survey;
277«Historische Deep-Sky Kataloge» von Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke; (2021-02-17)
381«Comprehensive abundance analysis of red giants in the open clusters NGC 2527, 2682, 2482, 2539, 2335, 2251 and 2266» Arumalla B. S. Reddy, Sunetra Giridhar, David L. Lambert; Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 431, Issue 4, 1 June 2013, Pages 3338–3348; DOI:10.1093/mnras/stt412
382«Photometric Study of Open Clusters NGC 2266 and NGC 7762» Maciejewski, G. ; Boeva, S. ; Georgiev, Ts. search by orcid ; Mihov, B. ; Ovcharov, E. ; Valcheva, A. ; Niedzielski, A.; Baltic Astronomy, Vol. 17, p. 51-65, 2008; Bibcode:2008BaltA..17...51M
383«The Hyades age anticenter cluster NGC 2266» Kaluzny, Janusz ; Mazur, Beata; Acta Astron., Vol. 41, p. 191-212 (1991); Bibcode:1991AcA....41..191K