NGC 2516

NGC 2516
NGC 2516 is a very bright compact naked-eye open cluster of about a hundred stars 4500 light years away.

The central star is a fifth-magnitude red giant (or perhaps orange), which is easily seen in telescopes.

Observers of binary stars will note that three fixed visual binaries are found in the cluster: h 4027, h 4031, and I 1104. All three have eighth-magnitude primaries and eighth- to ninth-magnitude companions.

The cluster is 15 SE from Canopus, however, it's easier to start at epsilon Carinae, which is in the same field of vision as the cluster: binoculars

You may find it quicker to move two fields of vision from Canopus over to chi Carinae, then place this star to the upper edge of your glasses and move an entire field of vision south. The cluster will be centred in your field of vision.

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1999-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.