A first look at NGC 1980

NGC 1980 is located just south of the Orion Nebula in a rich field of the Milky Way. It is a bright cluster of 30 stars embedded in a large, elongated nebula near Iota Orionis, or Nair al Saif. The cluster features the colorful triple 44 Orionis, which has a bluish-white primary and secondary, and a red third star.

One of the the last star forming regions near Earth in Orion open to observation in Fall, is composed of predominantly blue stars. , the sparse cluster-nebula NGC 1980 and and just South of it the easy, bright double star Struve 747 (below) make for an amazing sight. Nair al Saif is related to the “runaway stars” Mu Columbae and AE Aurigae.

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