IC 348 -- Open Cluster & Reflection Nebula in Perseus
IC 348 -- An Under Appreciated Deep Sky Object in Perseus
For some reason IC 348 fails to make most observing lists. I find this interesting since
at magnitude 7.3 the open cluster is significantly bright enough for even the smallest of
telescopes. In addition, it is embedded in a reflection nebula that is not all that difficult
to see even from my suburban backyard with a 6-inch refractor. Another bonus is that
it is located just a quarter of a degree south of the star Omicron Persei, so no elaborate
effort is needed to locate it. What more? Well, the cluster has two pleasing double stars.
Reflection nebulae do not respond to nebula filters so don’t use them. If you have a good
night, without moonlight, and the nebula is still alluding you, it will help to move the bright
Omicron Persei out of the field of view. Omicron Persei is the star at the upper left of the
Don’t take my word on IC 348, go have a look. I do not think you will be disappointed.