Messier 34

Messier 34 (also known as M34 or NGC 1039) is an open cluster in the constellation Perseus. It was probably discovered by Giovanni Batista Hodierna before 1654[4] and included by Charles Messier in his catalog of comet-like objects in 1764. Messier described it as, "A cluster of small stars a little below the parallel of γ (Andromedae). In an ordinary telescope of 3 feet one can distinguish the stars."[1]

Based on the distance modulus of 8.38, this cluster is located at a distance of about 470 parsecs, or 1,500 light years.[3] For stars in the range from 0.12 to 1.0 solar masses, M34 contains an estimated 400 members.[5] It spans about 35' on the sky which translates to a true radius of 7.5 light years.[6] The cluster is just visible to the naked eye in very dark conditions, well away from city lights. It is possible to see it in binoculars when light pollution is limited.[1]

The age of this cluster lies between the respective ages of the Pleiades open cluster at 100 million years and the Hyades open cluster at 800 million years. Comparisons between the observed stellar spectra and the values predicted by stellar evolutionary models gives an age estimate of 200–250 million years for M34.[3] This is roughly the age at which stars with 0.5 solar masses enter the main sequence. By comparison, stars like the Sun enter the main sequence after 30 million years.[5]

The average proportion of elements with higher atomic numbers than helium is termed the metallicity by astronomers. This is expressed by the logarithm of the ratio of iron to hydrogen, compared to the same proportion in the Sun. For M34, the metallicity has a value of [Fe/H] = +0.07 ± 0.04. This is equivalent to a 17% higher proportion of iron compared to the Sun. Other elements show a similar abundance, with the exception of nickel which is underabundant.[7]

At least 19 members of this cluster are white dwarfs. These are stellar remnants of progenitor stars of up to eight solar masses that have evolved through the main sequence and are no longer engaged in thermonuclear fusion to generate energy. Seventeen of the white dwarfs are of spectral type DA or DAZ, while one is a type DB and the last is a type DC.[8]

Messier 34
M34 2mass atlas
2MASS image of M34
(taken in infrared band; false color)
Observation data (J2000.0 epoch)
Right ascension 02h 42.1m[2]
Declination+42° 46′[2]
Distance1,500 light years (470 pc[3])
Apparent magnitude (V)5.5[1]
Apparent dimensions (V)35.0′[1]
Physical characteristics
Radius7 ly
Estimated age200–250 million years[3]
Other designationsNGC 1039, OCl 382, C 0238+425[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e Jones, Kenneth Glyn (1991). Messier's nebulae and star clusters. The Practical Astronomy Handbook, Volume 2 (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-521-37079-0.
  2. ^ a b c "M 34". SIMBAD. Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
  3. ^ a b c d Jones, B. F.; Prosser, Charles F. (1996). "Membership of Stars in NGC 1039 (M34)". Astronomical Journal. 111: 1193. Bibcode:1996AJ....111.1193J. doi:10.1086/117865.
  4. ^ Frommert, Hartmut; Kronberg, Christine (1998-02-08). "Hodierna's Deep Sky Observations". Retrieved 2009-09-03.
  5. ^ a b Irwin, Jonathan; et al. (2006). "The Monitor project: rotation of low-mass stars in the open cluster M34". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 370 (2): 954–974. arXiv:astro-ph/0605617. Bibcode:2006MNRAS.370..954I. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2006.10521.x.
  6. ^ "Messier 34 - M34 - Open Cluster |". Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  7. ^ Schuler, Simon C.; et al. (2003). "Spectroscopic Abundances of Solar-Type Dwarfs in the Open Cluster M34 (NGC 1039)". Astronomical Journal. 125 (4): 2085–2097. Bibcode:2003AJ....125.2085S. doi:10.1086/373927.
  8. ^ Rubin, Kate H. R.; Williams, Kurtis A.; Bolte, M.; Koester, Detlev (2008). "The White Dwarf Population in NGC 1039 (M34) and the White Dwarf Initial-Final Mass Relation". Astronomical Journal. 135 (6): 2163–2176. arXiv:0805.3156. Bibcode:2008AJ....135.2163R. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/135/6/2163.

External links

Coordinates: Sky map 02h 42.1m 00s, 42° 46′ 00″

List of NGC objects (1001–2000)

This is a list of NGC objects 1001–2000 from the New General Catalogue (NGC). The astronomical catalogue is composed mainly of star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. Other objects in the catalogue can be found in the other subpages of the list of NGC objects.

The constellation information in these tables is taken from The Complete New General Catalogue and Index Catalogue of Nebulae and Star Clusters by J. L. E. Dreyer, which was accessed using the "VizieR Service". Galaxy morphological types and objects that are members of the Large Magellanic Cloud are identified using the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database. The other data of these tables are from Wolfgang Steinicke's Revised New General Catalogue and Index Catalogue and/or the SIMBAD Astronomical Database unless otherwise stated.

List of open clusters

This is a list of open clusters located in the Milky Way. An open cluster is a gravitationally bound association of up to a few thousand stars that all formed from the same giant molecular cloud. There are over 1,000 known open clusters in the Milky Way galaxy, but the actual total may be up to ten times higher. The estimated half lives of clusters, after which half the original cluster members will have been lost, range from 150 million to 800 million years, depending on the original density.


M34 or M-34 may refer to:

M34 (New York City bus) SBS and M34A (New York City bus) SBS, two New York City Bus routes in Manhattan

M34 grenade

M34 cluster bomb

M-34 (Michigan highway), a road in the United States of America

M34 highway (Tajikistan), a road connecting Dushanbe and the Anzob Pass

Mikulin M-34, the Soviet Union’s first indigenous mass-produced liquid-cooled aircraft engine

Messier 34, an open cluster in the constellation Perseus

M34 2½ ton cargo truck, a variant of the United States Army M35 2½ ton cargo truck

Messier object

The Messier objects are a set of 110 astronomical objects cataloged by the French astronomer Charles Messier in his Catalogue des Nébuleuses et des Amas d'Étoiles ("Catalogue of Nebulae and Star Clusters").

Because Messier was interested in finding only comets, he created a list of non-comet objects that frustrated his hunt for them. The compilation of this list, in collaboration with his assistant Pierre Méchain, is known as the Messier catalogue. This catalogue of objects is one of the most famous lists of astronomical objects, and many Messier objects are still referenced by their Messier number.

The catalogue includes some astronomical objects that can be observed from Earth's Northern Hemisphere such as deep-sky objects, a characteristic which makes the Messier objects extremely popular targets for amateur astronomers.A preliminary version first appeared in the Memoirs of the French Academy of Sciences in 1771,

and the last item was added in 1966 by Kenneth Glyn Jones, based on Messier's observations.

The first version of Messier's catalogue contained 45 objects and was published in 1774 in the journal of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris. In addition to his own discoveries, this version included objects previously observed by other astronomers, with only 17 of the 45 objects being Messier's.

By 1780 the catalogue had increased to 80 objects. The final version of the catalogue containing 103 objects was published in 1781 in the Connaissance des Temps for the year 1784.

However, due to what was thought for a long time to be the incorrect addition of Messier 102, the total number remained 102. Other astronomers, using side notes in Messier's texts, eventually filled out the list up to 110 objects.The catalogue consists of a diverse range of astronomical objects, ranging from star clusters and nebulae to galaxies. For example, Messier 1 is a supernova remnant, known as the Crab Nebula, and the great spiral Andromeda Galaxy is M31. Many further inclusions followed in the next century when the first addition came from Nicolas Camille Flammarion in 1921, who added Messier 104 after finding Messier's side note in his 1781 edition exemplar of the catalogue. M105 to M107 were added by Helen Sawyer Hogg in 1947, M108 and M109 by Owen Gingerich in 1960, and M110 by Kenneth Glyn Jones in 1967.

See also

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