NGC 6025, mag. +5.1, is a naked eye open cluster located in the southern constellation of Triangulum Australe. It's essentially a southern-based object that's a nice target for binoculars and small scopes. From all locations below 30S, NGC 6025 is circumpolar and therefore never sets. The cluster can also be seen from northern locations, although from latitudes greater than 30N it never rises above the horizon.

NGC 6025 is 2,500 light-years distant and is best seen between the months of May and July. It was discovered by Abbe Lacaille during his 1751 / 1752 South African tour.

NGC 6025 (credit:- Roberto Mura)

Finder Chart for NGC 6025 (credit:- freestarcharts)

Finder Chart for NGC 6025 - pdf format (credit:- freestarcharts)

Once you've located the main triangular shape of Triangulum Australe, it's easy to find NGC 6025. The cluster straddles the Triangulum Australe / Norma constellation boundary and is positioned just over 3 degrees north-northeast of the northernmost star in triangle, Beta Trianguli Australis (β TrA - mag. +2.8). Located 10 degrees further west is Alpha Centauri, or as it's occasionally known, Rigil Kent.

NGC 6025 appears as an unresolved hazy patch of light to the naked eye. With binoculars the brightest few stars are resolvable, superimposed on a background mist that enhances the view. Although the cluster lies at the edge of the rich Milky Way, it's contains enough bright stars to stand out. Through a small 80mm (3.1-inch) scope it appears X shaped, with two notably bright stars of 7th and 8th magnitude and another dozen stars brighter than 10th magnitude visible. A 200mm (8-inch) scope shows roughly 40 stars spread across 12 arc minutes.

For owners of very large amateur scopes, there are a number of faint galaxies close to NGC 6025. None are above 15th magnitude, but the brightest of which can be glimpsed with scopes of the order of 350mm (14-inch) aperture.

NGC 6025 is number 95 in the Caldwell catalogue.

NGC 6025 Data Table

Object TypeOpen Cluster
ConstellationTriangulum Australe
Distance (light-years)2,500
Apparent Mag.+5.1
RA (J2000)16h 03m 17s
DEC (J2000)-60d 25m 54s
Apparent Size (arc mins)12
Radius (light-years)4.5
Age (years)80 Million
Number of Stars80
Other NamesCollinder 296, Melotte 139

Sky Highlights - March 2017

Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak now visible with binoculars as it heads towards perihelion

Mercury heading towards greatest elongation east

Minor Planet
Vesta now visible with binoculars and small telescopes.

The Planets
This Month's Guide

Algol Minima
Algol eclipse dates and times for March 2017

Northern Hemisphere
West:- Venus (mag. -4.8 to -4.1 - first half of month), Mars (mag. +1.3 to +1.5), Uranus (mag. +5.9), Mercury (mag. -1.5 to -0.4 - second half of month)
Southeast:- Jupiter (mag. -2.3 to -2.5)
Southwest:- Jupiter
Southeast:- Saturn (mag. +0.5)

Southern Hemisphere
West:- Venus (first half of month), Mars, Uranus
North:- Jupiter
East:- Saturn
West:- Jupiter
Northeast:- Saturn
East:- Neptune (mag. +8.0 - second half of month)

Deep Sky
Naked eye / binoculars:-
Melotte 111 - Mel 111 - The Coma Star Cluster (Open Cluster)
Messier 44 - M44 - The Praesepe (Open Cluster)

Messier 67 - M67 - Open Cluster
Messier 51 - M51 - The Whirlpool Galaxy (Spiral Galaxy)
Messier 97 - M97 - The Owl Nebula (Planetary Nebula)
Messier 101 - M101 - The Pinwheel Galaxy (Spiral Galaxy)
Messier 65 – M65 – Spiral Galaxy
Messier 66 - M66 - Intermediate Spiral Galaxy
Messier 95 - M95 - Barred Spiral Galaxy
Messier 96 - M96 - Intermediate Spiral Galaxy
NGC 4244 - Spiral Galaxy
NGC 4565 - Needle Galaxy - Spiral Galaxy

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