Introduction | Map | Sketch | My Own Observations | References
On this page I collect my observations of the open star cluster M 35 in the constellation Gemini / Twins.
I did not know the Gemini / Twins constellation so far, but recently a friend pointed me to Castor and Pollux, a pair of stars, which can be easily found at the nightly sky. The older form of the Gemini constellation reminds me of a jug lying on its side. I can therefore remember this and use it as an aid for finding the open star cluster M 35, which is supposed to be visible even to the naked eye. M 35 is, however, located on opposite (open) side of the jug (on the right) above the last star of the constellation (which somewhat "turns upwards" = the "spout"). Read more on how to find the cluster below.
M 35 is said to be the open star cluster with the most stars in winter.
Size: 28' (Stoyan) - about the size of the moon
Distance: 2,600 Light years (Stoyan)
Rating: **** (Stoyan)
M 35 at the upper right edge of Gemini / Twins
May 2017: M 35 above the right upper end of constellation Gemini/Twins. At this time of the year, it was turned to the right for nearly 90 Grad, so that M 35 was located at the bottom right of the constellation.
The sketch by Michael Vlasov (DeepSkyWatch.com) provides a rough impression of what I observed (my impression was much fainter than the sketch):
Sketch of the M35 Nebula by Michael Vlasov (Copyright © Michael Vlasov 2016)
The open star cluster M 35, which is supposed to be visible even with the naked eye, is located on opposite (open) side of Castor and Pollux in constellation Gemini / Twins above the last star of the constellation (which somewhat "turns upwards" = the "spout"). There is a third star on this line, but it is slightly weaker and no longer belongs to the constellation of Gemini. If you go a little bit to the left, you should find the star cluster M 35 (approximately above the final star in the constellation).
"Should", because despite many efforts with the Heritage 100P telescope and binoculars on the first day (February 13), I was not sure about whether I had actually found M 35 or not. There was something glimmering in the area, but that could have been a part of the Milky Way, which is in that region...
With the 8" Dobsonian GSD 680, however, I found M 35 the next day (February 14). The open star cluster looked very nice and showed many stars (it is said to be the open star cluster with the most stars in winter). Perhaps, I had searched for M 35 at the wrong location with the Heritage 100P...
When I tried the Heritage 100P with the GoTo control, I was, of course, able to access the star cluster directly and found it. At the beginning, it was hardly visible because the sky was too bright. But later, when it was darker, it was beautiful, too, and showed lots of stars in this smaller telescope even with a 7 mm eyepiece.
I looked for M 35 once again on February, 18, using the GSD 680 (8") telescope, and again it appeared rich of stars and beautiful. The sight with the Heritage P130 (5", with GoTo) on February 26 was very nice as well (new moon).
I approached M 35 in Mühlhausen / Kraichgau in May 2017 with the Sky-Watcher Explorer 150PDS on the GoTo mount.