Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 43

CASSIOPEIA

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Often Overlooked

23 h

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RSE

Binocular Highlight by Mathew Wedel

US

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Jan 31

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WHEN TO
USE THE MAP

Late Dec
Early Jan
Late Jan
Early Feb
Late Feb

11 p.m.
10 p.m.
9 p.m.
8 p.m.
Dusk

These are standard times.

uiz time! I'm thinking of a celestial object. It lies
just over 10°° from Alpha (α) Persei, with a visual
magnitude of 6.5, but it isn't a Messier or Caldwell
object, isn't included in the NGC or IC, wasn't discovered until the mid-1950s, and wasn't brought to the
attention of amateur astronomers until 1977. Despite
that long record of being ignored, it looks great in a
telescope, shows some detail in even modest binoculars, and might even be naked-eye visible under optimum conditions. What is it?
It seems like an impossible set of provisions, but
one object fits the bill: Stock 23, also known as
Pazmino's Cluster, in Camelopardalis, the Giraffe. Its
two names pay homage to the observers that originally
logged this starry wonder. Professional astronomer
Jürgen Stock seems to have been the first to spot it
around 1957, but amateur observers didn't take notice
until 1977, when John Pazmino stumbled across it
while scanning for the nearby Double Cluster with a
rich-field telescope. Pazmino's Cluster has been getting more attention ever since.
I first observed Stock 23 by accident myself, trying to star-hop from the Double Cluster to Kemble's
Cascade. The cluster lies approximately halfway
between these two popular targets. You can also get
there from the wide pair CS and CE Camelopardalis -
Stock 23 is 1.5°° straight west. In town, 50-mm binos
will show at least the four brightest stars, and under
dark skies you may pick up half a dozen or so fainter
ones. It's not clear if Stock 23 is actually a true open
cluster. Its stars seem to lie at different distances, so
it may just be a chance alignment. Whatever it is, it's
bright, easy to find, and rewarding to observe, so go
check it out.

¢ MATT WEDEL likes to kick back with his binoculars on a driveway in Claremont, California.
s k y a n d t e l e s c o p e .c o m

* FEBRUARY 2017

43
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Sky and Telescope - February 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sky and Telescope - February 2017

Contents
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - Cover1
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - Cover2
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 1
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - Contents
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 3
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 4
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 5
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 6
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 7
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 8
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 9
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 10
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 11
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 12
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 13
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 14
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Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 17
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 18
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 19
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 20
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 21
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 22
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 23
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Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 25
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 26
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Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 31
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Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 37
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Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 41
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 42
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 43
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Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - 84
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - Cover3
Sky and Telescope - February 2017 - Cover4
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