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Southern Pleiades

Theta Carinae Cluster, C102, IC 2602

Proper NamesSouthern Pleiades, Theta Carinae Cluster
Caldwell NumberC102
NGC/IC NumberIC 2602
Right Ascension10h 42m 58s
Declination-64° 24' 0"
Distance479 light years
147 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +1.6
Absolute: -4.4
DiameterApparent: 1° 40'
Actual: 15 light years
Number of Starsc. 60
Optimum VisibilityMarch (Usually visible from southern latitudes)
NotesA cluster of about sixty hot blue stars that stands out against the backdrop of the Milky Way. The Southern Pleiades take their name from the northern cluster known as the Pleiades, and the two clusters are indeed similar in many ways. The brightest star of the Southern Pleiades is Vathorz Posterior or Theta Carinae, and so the cluster is sometimes referred to as the Theta Carinae Cluster.
Map of the Southern Pleiades Map of the Southern Pleiades

Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas

A cluster of more than fifty stars centred around Vathorz Posterior or Theta Carinae. At a distance of less than five hundred light years, the Southern Pleiades are relatively nearby in comparison with many star clusters, and are detectable with the naked eye.


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