Where was our Sun born?


   Open clusters

Today we have seven questions, so you get ten minutes to complete the quiz.

Please get out a clean sheet of paper and a No. 2 pencil and prepare for today’s Astronomy Challenge.

If you find a mistake, please let me know. Do your best.

The topic today: open clusters


You have ten minutes to complete the quiz. Begin now.

  1. Open clusters have, at minimum, a few dozen stars. What do we call the smallest clusters, usually consisting of some distinctive stars?

  1. Taurus contains two of the most famous open clusters. Name one of

    The crescent Moon occults the Pleiades.  Image by Dennis Hands


  1. What is the Japanese name for the Pleiades?

  1. We know of more than a thousand open clusters in our galaxy. In what specific part of the galaxy are they all?

  1. Some open clusters have designations that begin with an “M”, like “M45” for the Pleiades.   For what does the M stand?

  1. Open cluster M 11 is called by many the most beautiful OC. What is this clusters traditional name?

  1. M44 is in the constellation Cancer. It has over 200 stars and is another binocular treat. Also known as The Praesepe, what is the more common name for this open cluster?


OK, pencils down. Let’s trade with a neighbor and check one another.


Please read directions below:

  1. Please contribute to one of these charities linked below. If you are a winner and contribute, please ask recipient to notify me of the amount so I might match the first $100.



Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research


Click on “Get Involved”

Guilford County Animal ShelterScreen Shot 2018-06-25 at 5.24.10 PM


Look under “Donate to the Animal Shelter.”

Guilford Senior Resources


Look under “You Can Help”Screen Shot 2018-06-25 at 5.25.17 PM

Jo Cline Memorial Endowment




  1. Check your written answers to the answers below.
  2. If your answer is correct, give it a check mark.
  3. If your answer is wrong, put a small X.
  4. If you think my answer is questionable, write yourself a note, do the research and let me know if I’ve erred. Thanks in advance,

You are welcome to play with us during the next live broadcast of

“Let’s talk astronomy” this coming Monday beginning at 8 am eastern US time on Periscope.

Periscope is a live video streaming app for Android and iOS available in the App Store.

On Monday, December 17, 2018, our Astronomy Challenge was about Open Clusters.

The questions are given above, the correct answers and the winners are given below.

Congratulations to all winners and thank-you to all participants.

Play live on Periscope’s “ Let’s talk astronomy” 8 am (Eastern US time) on Mondays.


Correct Answers……..Periscope Winners:

  1. Associations………. @no one got this answer.   OB associations are made of mostly type O and type B stars, very massive stars. There are also R associations and T associations.


  1. The Hyades and the Pleiades…………@ This player scores double here, answering the names of both clusters in separate comments! The Hyades form the head of the bull. Much closer to our world, they are only about 150 light years distant. The Pleiades are about 410 light years away.


  1. Subaru…….. @Varchos. Yes, If you are skeptical, check out the automobile icons in the parking lot.   Novas and Galaxies, too.


  1. Galactic Disk……….@speear40. The Open Clusters appear to all be from the spiral arms, but can leave them and be anywhere in the galactic disk. The Milky Way Galaxy’s thin stellar disk is in two parts: the thin disk, which contains 95% of the disk stars, and the thick disk. “Thin” and “think” don’t describe the density of stars in the volume, but how wide the area of space is.


  1. Messier….………@. Charles Messier made a list of fuzzy objects in the sky to help avoid false reports of comet discoveries. The Pleiades is the 45th object on his list. Do you know what was Charley’s number one celestial object?


  1. Wild Duck Cluster …………..@speear40 and @MelissaNarcissa.  After reviewing the play, judges ruled their fair decision for two players to share the win. The Wild Duck Cluster (M11) can look great in binoculars. There are some bright stars in a very compact area of the sky.


  1. Beehive cluster…………@MelissaNarcissa. Another great OC for binoculars and another winning answer for Melissa. What’s your secret? At magnitude 3.1 and at 95 arcminutes in size, NGC2632 is about 520 light years away from us.


Thanks goes out to all participants.

Congratulations to everyone who answered a question correctly.


for all who contribute to one of my listed charities

“Welcome to the fight!”


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