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NGC 1873

Proper NameNone
Messier NumberNone
NGC/IC NumberNGC 1873
Right Ascension5h 13m 54s
Declination-67° 20' 6"
Distancec.163,100 light years
c.50,000 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +10.4
Absolute: -8.2
DiameterApparent: 3.5'
Actual: c.170 light years
Optimum VisibilityDecember (Usually visible from southern latitudes)
NotesPart of a complex of star clusters within the Large Magellanic Cloud, NGC 1873 and the smaller NGC 1871 lie within a broader cloud of stars designated NGC 1869, and the entire complex is contained with a shroud of associated nebulosity.

The Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy to the Milky Way, is dense with open star clusters, and among these numerous clusters lies a set of three in close association. In the skies of Earth, these three appear to run in a line southward from the foreground star Theta Doradus (though, being part of the Large Magellanic Cloud, the clusters are immensely more distant than the star at more than 160,000 light years).

The central cluster of the three is NGC 1869, with a bright central region of stars and an extensive envelope of nebulous material extending outward for some three hundred light years. On either side of this cluster, and enclosed within its gaseous envelope, are two other clusters: one to the south designated NGC 1871, and NGC 1873, which lies to the north of the central cluster.

The stars of NGC 1873, which are primarily of the hot blue B-type classification, lie within the region of surrounding nebulosity, occupying a region of space about 170 light years from side to side.