I have started sketching the Messier objects with the Orion dob, I figured it would be a fun way to earn the Messier Observing Pin from the Astronomical League. I caught this cluster earlier this month and boy did I enjoy it. This is a cluster that gets overlooked by so many other grand clusters out there such as M45, The Double Cluster, Messier 103 and The Wild Duck Cluster. Messier 67 just seems not to get much loving. Well as I write this there is a thread on CN that is asking about open clusters and what are favorites of the readers, ironically someone mentioned Messier 67.
So what is it that makes Messier 67 a nice one. Well it is pretty easy to find (see this chart). It is also pretty bright, even visible to the unaided eye in dark skies, easy with binoculars. And when you put a scope on it, using lower power the cluster has lots of bright member stars plus lots of neat faint ones. It also has some dark “lanes” where there are no stars. To me it seemed the stars seemed to go off in directions in clumps. I also thought there were a few stars that hinted some red color... take a peek and see.
Messier 67 is located in the constellation of Cancer. It has a apparent magnitude of 6.1. It is one of the oldest open clusters, and may contain some blue stragglers. For professional astronomers, M67 is interesting because of that.
So get out there and check this cluster out!
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