Kappa Crucis, Jewel Box
|Right Ascension||12 : 53.6 (h:m)
|Declination||-60 : 20 (deg:m)
|Visual Brightness||4.2 (mag)
|Apparent Dimension||10 (arc min)|
Discovered by Lacaille in 1751-52.
This cluster was one of the finest open clusters discovered by Abbe Lacaille when he was in South Africa during 1751-1752.
This cluster is one of the youngest known, with an estimated age of only 7.1 million years (Sky Catalog 2000). Its hottest star is of spectral type B0. According to Burnham, the 3 brightest stars are blue giants of mag 5.75 and spectral type B9, mag 5.94 and type B3, and mag 6.80/B2, while the fourth brightest star is a mag 7.58 M2 red supergiant. Another mag 5.7/spectral type A1 star is probably also a member, another white supergiant: This star would be the brioghtest of the cluster at about absolute magnitude -7.7 (83,000 solar luminosities).
Situated close to the cluster is a huge dark area of the sky, right within the band of the Milky Way: the Coal Sack. This is a huge dark nebula, probably the nearest at 500 to 600 light years distance, and 60 to 70 light years diameter.
Our image was obtained by David Malin with the Anglo-Australian Telescope. This image is copyrighted and may be used for private purpose only. For any other kind of use, including internet mirroring and storing on CD-ROM, please contact the Photo Permissions Department (photo at aaoepp.aao.gov.au) of the Anglo Australian Observatory.
In the Astronomical League's Southern Sky Binocular Club list. In John Caldwell's List. Caldwell 94.
Last Modification: March 22, 1998