Ring Cluster (NGC 1513)

NGC 1513
NGC 1513: Section of Digitized Sky Survey. Here could be your photo. [147]


The cluster was discovered by William Herschel on 28 December 1790 using his famous reflecting telescope with 18.7 inch aperture and 20 feet focal length. He cataloged it as VII 60 and noted: «A large cluster of considerably large stars, pretty compressed and very rich, of irregular figure, 7' diameter». [465] It was added as NGC 1513 by Dreyer in his «New General Catalogue». [313]

Physical Properties

NGC 1513 is an open star cluster in the constellation Perseus. According to Trümpler, this cluster is classified as II 1 m. II stands for a clear concentration to the center and a good contrast to the sky, 1 indicates an even brightness distribution of the stars. m refers to the number of visible members of the cluster and is an abbreviation for moderate. The age of this open star cluster is roughly 130 million years, its distance as about 1320 pc (4300 light years). [138]

Revised+Historic NGC/IC Version 22/9, © 2022 Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
Designation NGC 1513
Type OCL (II1m)
Right Ascension (J2000.0) 04h 09m 57.0s
Declination (J2000.0) +49° 30' 54"
Diameter 12 arcmin
Visual magnitude 8.4 mag
Metric Distance 1.320 kpc
Dreyer Description Cl, L, vRi, pC, st vL
Identification, Remarks OCL 398

Finder Chart

NGC 1513 is pretty much on the line connecting the star Algenib (α Perseii), also called Mirfak, and Capella (α Aurigae) at 2/5 of the way. The open star cluster is located about 1 degree southeast of λ Perseii.

Finder Chart Ring Cluster (NGC 1513)
Ring Cluster (NGC 1513) in constellation Perseus. 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]

Visual Observation

200 mm aperture: Contrary to the description in the NGC, this star cluster does not stand out due to its uniform brightness distribution. At first glance, with a 100x magnification in a telescope of the 20 cm class, a good half dozen stars dominate, which are also arranged quite well in a circle (in Fig. 1, right below the center of the image). Hence the name «ring cluster». Only when looking at it for a long time do you notice the other, weaker stars that extend from the ring to a star of tenth size (in the picture above). — Frank H. Leiter

400 mm aperture: With the 21 mm Ethos eyepiece (85x) a weak open star cluster can be seen, which stands out well from the surroundings. An S-shaped chain of small stars is winding through the cluster, which is surrounded by a ring of brighter stars further outside. — Taurus T400 f/4.5 Dobsonian, Hasliberg Reuti, 6. 11. 2021, Bernd Nies

More Objects Nearby (±15°)


  • [138] WEBDA, A site Devoted to Stellar Clusters in the Galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds; webda.physics.muni.cz
  • [147] Aladin Lite; aladin.unistra.fr/AladinLite
  • [149] SkySafari 6 Pro, Simulation Curriculum; skysafariastronomy.com
  • [160] The STScI Digitized Sky Survey; archive.stsci.edu/cgi-bin/dss_form
  • [277] «Historische Deep-Sky Kataloge» von Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke; klima-luft.de/steinicke (2021-02-17)
  • [313] «A New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars, being the Catalogue of the late Sir John F.W. Herschel, Bart., revised, corrected, and enlarged» Dreyer, J. L. E. (1888); Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society. 49: 1–237; Bibcode:1888MmRAS..49....1D
  • [465] «Catalogue of 500 new nebulae, nebulous stars, planetary nebula:, and clusters of stars; with remarks on the construction of the heavens» William Herschel, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 1 January 1802; DOI:10.1098/rstl.1802.0021