NGC 2017 -- Open Cluster or Multiple Star System in Lepus
Open Cluster or Multiple Star System?
When does a star with several companion stars reach the stage of being called an Open
Cluster? I am not sure. But NGC 2017 falls close to that line. To me, the nine stars that
make up NGC 2017 does take on the look at the eyepiece of an Open Cluster, but I could
not make a good argument one way or the other.
Of the nine stars that make up NGC 2017, seven are visible through my 155mm refractor
from my suburban backyard. Star H (not shown) is too dim for me to see and the central
stars marked A/B are too close for me to separate (0.61 arcseconds).
I find these stars pleasing and easy to find – just a little over one degree east of the star
Ameb, the brightest star in the constellation of the Hare (Lepus).