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IC 2602, the southern Plejades in the constellation Carina

Object description:

The open cluster IC2602 is shown against the background of the southern milky way in the constellation Carina. The cluster is located at a distance of about 550 light years and thus it is one of the nearest open clusters. The apparent diameter is about 50 arcminutes which is nearly two times the diameter of the Moon. The brightest star of the cluster is theta Carinae with a brightness of 2.8 mag. Because of its striking appearance, the cluster is also called as Southern Pleiades, even if it does not reach the diameter and brightness of its northern counterpart. The age of IC2602 is between 13 and 50 million years.

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