Dolidze 17 -- Asterism in Orion
False Open Cluster
When observing the bright star Bellatrix (gamma Orionis) in a rich field telescope or binoculars,
a small but distinctive grouping of five 8th magnitude stars less than a degree to the north-west
pops into view. This collection of stars is designated as Dolidze 17 and is often listed as an
Open Cluster in Star Atlases. Higher magnifications diminish the appearance that it is an
Open Cluster. Recent stellar measurements have demonstrated that the five stars are not
associated with each other and that they just give the illusion of being a sparse Open Cluster.
Real or not, it is an attractive little grouping that catches the eye.