NGC 1647 Open Cluster in Taurus
Drawing of NGC 1647
The Hyades star cluster with the red-eye of an enraged bull dominates the
constellation Taurus.  So much so that another Open Cluster, NGC 1647, rarely
catches one’s attention, even though it is just two-degrees northeast of the
Hyades and the eye-of-the-bull, Aldebaran.  NGC 1647 is just at the visibility of
the naked eye from a dark location.  But in binoculars from any location its
collection of stars covering an area about the size of the full moon, stands out.  
In the telescope, it must be viewed at low power, or otherwise its widely spaced
stars will escape notice.  

Through a wide-field, low-power telescope or binoculars it is a marvelous
distinct gathering of 200 stars.  Since the Hyades and NGC 1647 are next to
each other a comparison is instructive.  NGC 1647 is about 400 million years
younger and 11-times more distant than the Hyades.  Although the Hyades
spans a larger section of our night sky than NGC 1647, it is NGC 1647 that is
actual larger (20 light years across compared to the Hyades 14.5 light years
across).  Both Open Clusters fit within the field-of-view of binoculars and their
contrasting appearances are worth