The Perseus Double Cluster was first cataloged in 130 B.C as a patch of light in the Perseus constellation, but it wasn’t until the invention of the telescope that William Herschel was able to recognize the object as two separate clusters of stars.
The two-star clusters that make up the Perseus Double cluster appear to be close in distance but are actually a few hundred light years apart. At 12.8 million years old, this cluster is considered relatively young – especially when compared to other well-known star clusters like Messier 45, which has been around for 115 million years.
Although young, both clusters contain their very own supergiant suns, and over 300 blue-white supergiant stars, making them shine bright and visible to the untrained eye.
During the month of December, visit Lowell Observatory and view the Perseus Double Cluster with us. Educators will lead telescope viewing, answer questions, and provide viewing tips.