Seeking NGC7789

NGC7789 chart

Open cluster NGC7789 is located in western Cassiopeia.

Rather than simply chase down the obvious Messier objects (as fine as so many of them are), sometimes it’s nice to stretch out a bit and try for some less famous targets. One of my autumn favourites is open cluster NGC7789, located in Cassiopeia.

I first stumbled across this grouping many years ago while sweeping the region with 10×70 binoculars. It was so conspicuous that I felt sure it must be a Messier object that I was simply unfamiliar with. Not so. The cluster was actually discovered by Caroline Herschel (sister of the famed British astronomer, William Herschel) in the autumn of 1783. Under dark skies, NGC7789 can be pulled in with 10×50 binos, but the best view is with a small telescope at low power. Too much magnification, or too big a scope, and the cluster begins to blend in with the background stars. Give it a try and see what you think.