Asterisms: ET, NGC 457, Owl Cluster, Caldwell 13, Kachina Doll Cluster

Original article appears in GuideStar September, 2017.

By: Steve Goldberg

Asterism: a grouping of stars that form a recognizable pattern.

Constellation: Cassiopeia
Right Ascension: 01 h, 19 m 35s
Declination: 58o 17’ 12”
Magnitude:  5.1
Size: 15’ (minutes)

This cluster, NGC457, was discovered by William Herschel in 1787, and lies over 7,900 light years away from the Sun. The asterism is also commonly known as the Owl Cluster. After the movie “ET-The Extraterrestrial” was released the name “ET” was also given to this asterism.

 

 

 

Looking at this image you can see 2 bright stars, which are the eyes of ET. A horizontal line of stars under the “eyes” are the outstretched arms, with another line of stars going downward for the legs.

 

At public outreach events where children are present this object is a big hit.

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