Open Cluster Messier 67

Messier 67
Messier 67: Section of STScI Digitized Sky Survey [147]


The open star cluster was discovered before 1779 by Johann Gottfried Köhler, who described it as «a rather conspicuous nebula with an elongated shape near Alpha von Cancer». The fact that it was unable to resolve any single stars provides information about the imaging quality of its telescope. Independently of Köhler, the star cluster was discovered again on 6 April 1780 by Charles Messier. He too believed he saw a nebula and wrote about it: «A cluster of small stars with a nebula below the southern claw of Cancer. Position determined by α [Cancri].» [217, 281]

Physical Properties

M 67 is an open star cluster of the Trumpler type II2m and one of the oldest known of this type. The age is estimated to be 10 billion years. It contains about 500 stars, measures about 12 light years in diameter, and is about 2500 light years away from us. A special feature of this cluster is the great distance of 1500 light years outside the plane of our galaxy. Most of the open star clusters are found along the galactic plane. [4, 196]

Revised+Historic NGC/IC, Version 22/9, © Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
DesignationNGC 2682
TypeOCL (II2m)
Right Ascension (J2000.0)08h 51m 18.0s
Declination (J2000.0)+11° 49' 00"
Diameter25 arcmin
Visual magnitude6.9 mag
Metric Distance0.908 kpc
Dreyer Description! Cl, vB, vL, eRi, lC, st 10…15
Identification, RemarksM 67, OCL 549

Finder Chart

M 67 is located in the constellation Cancer, about 1.75° west of the star Acubens (α Cancri). It is best observed from December to May.

Finder Chart Open Cluster Messier 67
Open Cluster Messier 67 in constellation Cancer. Charts created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. Limiting magnitudes: Constellation chart ~6.5 mag, DSS2 close-ups ~20 mag. [149, 160]

More Objects Nearby (±15°)