Star Clusters

There are two main types of star clusters – globular star clusters and open (or galactic) star clusters.

Star clusters are particularly beautiful objects to view through a small telescope, or a good pair of binoculars.

Globular Star Clusters

Globular star clusters are spherical collections of stars, tightly bound together by gravity. They are generally found in the halo of a galaxy.

Open Star Clusters

Open star clusters are also known as galactic star clusters, since they are generally found within the disk of a galaxy. As the name suggests, they are much less dense than globular clusters and are more disparate and amorphous in shape.

List of Globular Star Clusters from the Messier Catalogue
by apparent magnitude

Below is a list of the equatorial coordinates of some of the brightest globular star clusters.

Cat Number Const App
Mag
RA Dec
M22 / NGC 6656 Sagittarius 5.1 18h36m23.94s –23°54′17.1″
M13 / NGC 6205 Hercules 5.8 16h41m41.24s +36°27′35.5″
M4 / NGC 6121 Scorpius 5.9 16h23m35.22s –26°31′32.7″
M71 / NGC 6838 Sagitta 6.1 19h53m46.49s +18°46′45.1″
M3 / NGC 5272 Canes Venatici 6.2 13h42m11.62 +28° 22′ 38.2″
M15 / NGC 7078 Pegasus 6.2 21h29m58.33s +12°10′01.2″
M2 / NGC 7089 Aquarius 6.3 21h33m27.02s –00°49′23.7″
M92 / NGC 6341 Hercules 6.3 17h17m07.39s +43°08′09.4″
M10 / NGC 6254 Ophiuchus 6.4 16h57m8.92s −04°05′58.07″
M5 / NGC 5904 Serpens 6.7 15h18m33.22s +02°04′51.7″
M55 / NGC 6809 Sagittarius 7.4 19h39m59.71s −30°57′53.1″
M62 / NGC 6266 Ophiuchus 7.4 17h01m12.60s –30°06′44.5″
M19 / NGC 6273 Ophiuchus 7.5 17h02m37.69s −26°16′04.6
M12 / NGC 6218 Ophiuchus 7.7 16h47m14.18s –01°56′54.7″
M28 / NGC 6626 Sagittarius 7.7 18h24m32.89s –24°52′11.4″
M30 / NGC 7099 Capricornus 7.7 21h40m22.12s –23°10′47.5″
M80 / NGC 6093 Scorpius 7.9 16h17m02.41s –22°58′33.9″
M14 / NGC 6402 Ophiuchus 8.3 17h37m36.15s –03°14′45.3″
M53 / NGC 5024 Coma Berenices 8.3 13h12m55.25s +18°10′05.4″
M56 / NGC 6779 NGC 6779 8.3 19h16m35.57s +30°11′00.5″
M69 / NGC 6637 Sagittarius 8.3 18h31m23.10s −32°20′53.1″
M9 / NGC 6333 Ophiuchus 8.4 17h19m11.78s –18°30′58.5″
M54 / NGC 6715 Sagittarius 8.4 18h55m03.33s −30°28′47.5″
M79 / NGC 1904 Lepus 8.6 05h24m10.59s −24°31′27.3″
M107 / NGC 6171 Ophiuchus 8.9 16h32m31.86s –13°03′13.6″
M70 / NGC 6681 Sagittarius 9.1 18h43m12.76s –32°17′31.6″
M75 / NGC 6864 Sagittarius 9.2 20h06m04.75s −21°55′16.2″
M72 / NGC 6981 Aquarius 9.4 20h53m27.70s –12° 32′ 14.3″
M68 / NGC 4590 Hydra 9.7 12h39m27.98s –26°44′38.6″

List of Open Star Clusters from the Messier Catalogue
by apparent magnitude

Below is a list of the equatorial coordinates of some of the brightest open star clusters.

Cat Number Name / Const App
Mag
RA Dec
M45 Pleiades / Taurus 1.6 3h47m24s +24°7
M7 / NGC 6475 Ptolemy Cluster / Scorpius 3.3 17h53m
51.2s
–34°47′34″
M44 / NGC 2632 Beehive Cluster / Cancer 3.7 08h40.4m 19°59′
M6 / NGC 6405 Butterfly Cluster / Scorpius 4.2 17h40.1m −32°13′
M47 / NGC 2422 Puppis 4.2 07h36.6m -14°30′
M41 / NGC 2287 Canis Major 4.5 06h46.0m −20°46′
M25 / IC 4725 Sagittarius 4.6 18h31.6m −19°15′
M52 / NGC 7654 Cassiopeia 5.0 23h24.2m +61°35′
M35 / NGC 2168 Gemini 5.3 06h09.1m +24°21′
M34 / NGC 1039 Perseus 5.5 02h42.1m +42°46′
M39 / NGC 7092 Cygnus 5.5 21h31m42s +48°25′
M48 / NGC 2548 Hydra 5.5 08h13.7m -05°45′
M50 / NGC 2323 Monoceros 5.9 07h03.2m −08°20′
M93 / NGC 2447 Puppis 6.0 07h44.6m −23°52′
M46 / NGC 2437 Puppis 6.1 07h41.8m −14°49′
M67 / NGC 2682 Cancer 6.1 08h51.4m +11°49′
M37 / NGC 2099 Auriga 6.2 5h52m18s +32°33′02″
M11 / NGC 6705 Wild Duck Cluster / Scutum 6.3 18h51.1m −06°16′
M36 / NGC 1960 Auriga 6.3 5h36m12s +34°08′4″
M21 / NGC 6531 Sagittarius 6.5 18h04.6m −22°30′
M23 / NGC 6494 Sagittarius 6.9 17h56.8m −19°01′
M29 / NGC 6913 Cygnus 7.1 20h23m56s +38°31.4′
M38 / NGC 1912 Auriga 7.4 5h28m42s +35°51′18″
M103 / NGC 581 Cassiopeia 7.4 01h33.2m +60°42′
M18 / NGC 6613 Sagittarius 7.5 18h19.9m −17°08′
M26 / NGC 6694 Scutum 8.0 18h45.2m −09°24′

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