Open Cluster NGC 381

Gamma Cassiopeiae region
Gamma Cassiopeiae region: Star Gamma Cassiopeiae with nebulae IC 59, IC 63 and open cluster NGC 381. Section of DSS2 [147]


On 3 November 1787 William Herschel discovered open cluster NGC 381 (VII 64) and noted: «A forming cluster of pretty compressed stars. Caroline Herschel disc[overy] 1783». [464] Based on this comment, Caroline Herschel is often attributed with the discovery of NGC 381. But her description places the cluster west of Gamma Cas (and east of Kappa) forming an isosceles triangle, but NGC 381 follows Gamma. NGC 225 forms a flat isosceles triangle with the two stars and Wolfgang Steinicke argues this was the observed cluster. The same conclusion was reached in the August 2007 issue of Sky & Tel. [364]

Physical Properties

Revised+Historic NGC/IC Version 22/9, © 2022 Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
Designation NGC 381
Type OCL (III2p)
Right Ascension (J2000.0) 01h 08m 20.0s
Declination (J2000.0) +61° 35' 00"
Diameter 7 arcmin
Visual magnitude 9.3 mag
Metric Distance 1.058 kpc
Dreyer Description Cl, pC
Identification, Remarks WH VIII 64; GC 204; OCL 317

Finder Chart

The open cluster is located in the constellation Cassiopeia and is on 11 October in opposition to the Sun. From Switzerland they can best be seen in the months July to January.

Finder Chart Open Cluster NGC 381
Open Cluster NGC 381 in constellation Cassiopeia. 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]

Objects Within a Radius of 15°