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Proper NamesCoalsack Cluster
Caldwell NumberC98
NGC/IC NumberNGC 4609
Right Ascension12h 43m 23s
Declination-63° 4' 52"
Distancec.4,300 light years
c.1,300 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +6.9
Absolute: -3.7
DiameterApparent: 13'
Actual: 16 light years
Number of Starsc. 5
Optimum VisibilityApril (Usually visible from southern latitudes)
NotesA small open cluster of stars, taking its name from the fact that it falls within the dark nebula of the Coalsack, as seen from Earth. In fact the cluster is about twice as far from the Sun as the Coalsack itself, and the light of its stars shines through the dark cloud in the foreground.


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