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

NGC6025
Caldwell95
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 - February 2017

Comets
Comet Encke (2P/Encke) now visible in the western sky during evening twilight
Now is the last good chance to see comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova before it dramatically fades

Conjunction
Mars passes less than 1 degree north of Uranus on February 27th

Minor Planet
Vesta now visible with binoculars and small telescopes.

The Planets
This Month's Guide

Algol Minima
Algol eclipse dates and times for February 2017

Northern Hemisphere
Evening
Southwest:- Venus (mag. -4.8), Mars (mag. +1.1 to +1.3), Uranus (mag. +5.9)
Midnight
East:- Jupiter (mag. -2.1 to -2.3)
Morning
South:- Jupiter
Southeast:- Saturn (mag. +0.6)

Southern Hemisphere
Evening
West:- Venus, Mars, Uranus
Midnight
East:- Jupiter
Morning
North:- Jupiter
East:- Saturn, Mercury (mag. -0.2 - first half of month)

Deep Sky
Naked eye / binoculars:-
Messier 45 - M45 - The Pleiades (Open Cluster)
The Hyades - Open Cluster
Messier 44 - M44 - The Praesepe (Open Cluster)
Messier 35 - M35 - Open Cluster
Messier 42 - M42 - The Great Orion Nebula (Emission/Reflection)

Small telescopes:-
Messier 36 - M36 - Open Cluster
Messier 37 - M37 - Open Cluster
Messier 38 - M38 - Open Cluster

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