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C41, Melotte 25

Proper NameThe Hyades
Caldwell NumberC41
NGC/IC NumberNot applicable
Other DesignationsMelotte 25
Right Ascension4h 26m 54s
Declination+15° 52' 0"
Distance147 light years
45 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +0.5
Absolute: -2.8
DiameterApparent: 5° 30'
Actual: 14 light years
Number of Starsc. 1,000
Optimum VisibilityDecember
NotesThe nearest open cluster to the Solar System, the Hyades consists of a group of up to a thousand associated stars within a region some twenty light years across. It represents a group of stars sharing a common origin that have been maintained as a cluster for more the six hundred million years under the force of their mutual gravity.
Map of the Hyades Map of the Hyades

An open star cluster so close to the Earth (just 150 light years) that it was only recognised as a cluster in the twentieth century. The stars of the Hyades form the V-shaped 'face' of Taurus, the Bull, and lie behind the bright star Aldebaran, which is much closer to our Solar System.


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