AAO image reference AAT 25. « Previous || Next »
Top left is NE. Image width is about 11.5 arc min
Image and text © 1991-2010, Australian Astronomical Observatory, photograph by David Malin.
This famous group of young bright stars is an open cluster some 7800 light years from the Sun. It was named the Jewel Box from its description by Sir John Herschel as 'a casket of variously coloured precious stones', which refers to its appearance in the telescope. The bright orange star is kappa Crucis, and it contrasts strongly against its predominantly blue, hot companions. Kappa Cru is a very large, (hence very luminous) quite young star in its red supergiant stage, which paradoxically indicates that its life is drawing to a close. The cluster looks like a star to the unaided eye and appears close to Mimosa, the eastern-most star of the Southern Cross, so is only visible from southern latitudes.
AAT 10. An open cluster of stars, NGC 3293
AAT 10a. An open cluster of stars, NGC 3293, wide field
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