Epsilon Cas

ε Cas
The eastern-most point of the 'W' asterism, epsilon Cassiopeiae, at 3.4 visible magnitude, is the faintest of these five stars. There are three interesting objects in the same field of view: binoculars.

Bordering the southern edge, and just east of delta, is the open cluster M103.

The cluster is about 9000 light years away, thus one of the most distant. There are 40 or so stars that make up the cluster, which is estimated to be about 25 million years old.

Although not a member of the cluster, the multiple star system Struve 131 is found apparently inside the cluster. Three of its four companions are accessible in large binoculars:
      AB: 7.3, 9.9; 144º, 14"
      AC: 7.3, 11.8; 145º, 28"
      AD: 7.3, 11.7; 121º, 46"
      AE: 7.3, 10.6; 136º, 82".

Just to the northwest of epsilon about a degree is a very nice binary suitable for large binoculars, Struve 163, with two wide companions:
      AB: 6.8,9.1; 37º, 34.8" (orange/blue)
      AC: 6.8, 10.7; 255º, 114".

Moving about one binocular field southwest you will see delta Cassiopiae on the eastern edge with gamma on the northwestern edge: binoculars.
The most notable object here is the open cluster NGC 457 just southeast of the centre of your viewing area. Some observers feel that this object is much superior to the Messier objects in Cassiopeia.

Small to medium telescopes bring out a bright red supergiant, magnitude 8.6. Altogether there are about 150 stars, mostly 12-15 magnitude.

Sometimes called 'the ET Cluster' for its two bright eyes—phi Cas and an unnamed neighbour—it does have an eerie aspect to it. Incidentally, some sources call these two stars phi1 and phi2, although this last star is mislabelled; there is only one 'phi Cas'.

This star, phi Cassiopeiae, is a binocular double, labelled H III 23AC: 5.1, 7.0; 231º, 134".

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