(IAAC) Obj: ngc869, ngc884 (h&chi Per) - Inst: 5" f/5 refractor, naked eye

Observer: Lew Gramer
Your skills: Intermediate
Date and UT of Observation: 1997-07-4/5, 04:55 UT
Location: Savoy, MA, USA (42N, elev 700m)
Site classification: rural
Limiting magnitude: 7.2 (zenith)
Seeing: 5 of 10 - mediocre
Moon up: no
Instrument: 5" f/5 Jaegers refractor on altaz mount, naked eye
Magnification: 25x, 1x
Filters used: None
Object: ngc 869, ngc 884 (h & chi Persei)
Category: Open clusters (in Milky Way star field)
Constellation: Per
Data: mags 4.3, 4.4  size 30', 30'
RA/DE: 02h20m  +57o
Pointing my rich-field refractor at that dear, familiar
naked-eye bar of haze in the Milky Way between Per and
Cas, I was treated to a stunning view of BOTH these tight
bright "star swarms" in the same field of view, against
a star- and haze-strewn Milky Way background. Interwoven
circlets and strings of stars in chi (n884) are offset by
the famous bright-orange star on the W edge of the cluster.
Next door, n869 shows a few simpler patterns of resolved
stars, and paradoxically appears simultaneously brighter
and more diffuse (i.e., less granular) than n884. This is
surely an artefact of contrast and low magnification, as
n869 is the more concentrated of the two at higher powers.
Both clusters are well separated from the stunning field.