NGC 2360

NGC 2360

NGC 2360
NGC 2360 (taken from Stellarium)
Credit: Roberto Mura
Observation data (J2000 epoch)
Constellation Canis Major
Right ascension 07h 17m 43s[1]
Declination −15° 38′ 29″[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) 7.2[2]
Apparent dimensions (V) 13′[2]
Physical characteristics
Other designations Cl Melotte 64,[3] Caldwell 58, Caroline's Cluster[3]
Map showing the location of NGC 2360

NGC 2360, also known as Caroline's Cluster,[3] is an open cluster in the constellation Canis Major. It was discovered on 26 February 1783,[4] by Caroline Herschel who wrote, "A beautiful cluster of pretty compressed stars near 1/2 degree in diameter."[5] Her notes were overlooked until her brother William included the cluster in his 1786 catalogue of 1000 clusters and nebulae and acknowledged her as the discoverer.[4] The cluster lies 3.5 degrees east of Gamma Canis Majoris and less than one degree northwest of the eclipsing binary star R Canis Majoris; it has a combined apparent magnitude of 7.2.[5] It is 13 arc minutes in diameter.[2] By the western edge of the cluster is the unrelated star, 5.5-magnitude HD 56405.[6]

American astronomer Olin J. Eggen surveyed the cluster in 1968, concluding that the brightest star in the field, magnitude-8.96 HD 56847, is likely to lie in the field and not a true member of the cluster. He also identified one or possibly two blue stragglers.[7] These are unexpectedly hot and luminous stars that appear younger than surrounding stars, and have likely developed by sucking matter off companion stars.[8] Four are now recognised to be in the cluster.[9] By analysing the masses of the smallest stars that have evolved into red giants—namely, stars of 1.8 or 1.9 solar masses—Swiss astronomers Jean-Claude Mermilliod and Michel Mayor were able to date the age of the cluster at 2.2 billion years.[10] The cluster has a diameter of around 15 light-years and is located 3700 light-years from Earth.[5]


  1. ^ a b "NGC/IC Project Database". Results for NGC 2360. Retrieved 2010-12-03. 
  2. ^ a b c "SEDS Online NGC Database". Results for NGC 2360. Retrieved 2010-12-03. 
  3. ^ a b c "SIMBAD Astronomical Database". Results for NGC 2360. Retrieved 2010-12-03. 
  4. ^ a b Hoskin, Michael (2005). "Caroline Herschel as observer" (PDF).  
  5. ^ a b c O'Meara, Stephen James (2002). The Caldwell Objects. Cambridge University Press. pp. 231–33.  
  6. ^ Streicher, Magda (April 2006). "Caroline Herschel’s Deepsky Discoveries" (PDF). Deepsky Delights. The Astronomical Society of Southern Africa. pp. 234–36. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Eggen, Olin J. "The Intermediate-Age Cluster NGC 2360" (PDF). The Astrophysical Journal 152: 83–87.  
  8. ^ Fellman, Megan (17 October 2011). "'"Astronomers Explain 'Blue Stragglers. News. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  9. ^ Ahumada, J. A.; Lapasset, E. (2007). "New catalogue of blue stragglers in open clusters".  
  10. ^ Mermilliod, Jean-Claude; Mayor, Michel (1990). "Red Giants in Open Clusters. III - Binarity and Stellar Evolution in Five Intermediate-age Clusters: NGC 2360, 2423, 5822, 6811, and IC 4756" (PDF). Astronomy and Astrophysics 273 (1): 61–72.  

External links

  • NGC 2360 on WikiSky: DSS2, SDSS, GALEX, IRAS, Hydrogen α, X-Ray, Astrophoto, Sky Map, Articles and images