M36 The Pinwheel Cluster

Credits: Keith Turnecliff, Long Itchington

The Pinwheel Cluster contains at least 60 stars and bears a resemblance to the more famous Pleiades cluster (M45) in the constellation Taurus. The two clusters have almost the same physical size and, like many members of the Pleiades cluster, many members of M36 are also rapid spinners. M36, however, is one of the most distant open clusters catalogued by Messier and about 10 times as far away as the Pleiades.

Facts about M36 by Keith Turnecliff

The best time of the year to observe M36 is during the winter months. M36 is also known as NGC1960.

This star chart represents the view from Long Itchington for mid January at 10pm.
Credits: Image courtesy of Starry Night Pro Plus 8, researched and implemented by Keith Turnecliff.