Object: Markarian 6 (Stock 7) Type: Open Cluster

Diameter in '
Number of stars
Brightest star (magnitude)
Distance in parsecs (3.26Ly)
: Cassiopeia
: 02 29.40 / +60.42
: 6.0
: 7.09
: 29
: 8.8
: 511
Details sketch
Date / Time
Observing Location
Seeing / Transparency
Magnification / Field of View '
: 09/01/11 / 19:50
: Landgraaf
: 3 / 3
: Orion Optics UK 300mm
: 12mm Nagler Type 4
: 133 / 37
Observing report
Markarian 6 is a very small star cluster, but easy to detect because it’s relatively bright. Even at lowest magnification, with the 35mm Panoptic and a field of view of 1.5 degrees, I see Markarian 6 as a short line of four bright stars, the line bent a bit at the southern tip. The first impression is on one hand a surprise, because this small open cluster can be detected at such low powers, but on the other, it seems to be a relatively poor cluster. Even at the optimum magnification of 133x, achieved with the 12mm Nagler Type 4, it remains a poor cluster of only 9 stars (visibly).

Overall, Markarian 6 looks like a small cross to me. The main chain of four stars runs form north-northeast to southwest, and is bent at the southern half. The range of brightness is not very large. A few bright stars and some dimmer ones. There are no colored, or otherwise interesting stars. There are however two nice double stars at the southern tip. There is no glow of nebulosity or unresolved stars visible. I think I see some very faint stars popping in and out view, but I do not take them into the sketch because I’m not 100% sure about them. I do not draw all the field stars, only a few to get the orientation of the sketch right. Markarian 6 is indeed a poor cluster, but somehow I like it, probably because it looks like a small asterism.

On the finderchart below you can see where Markarian 6 is located, to the northeast of Stock 2.

markarian6 finderchart

Image from Voyager by CapellaSoft

When looking through all my resources, I noted that there is little or nothing, to find about Markarian 6. Not in all my books and not on the internet. I did however stumble upon a very good image of the nebula NGC 1805, shot by Dominique Suys. Dominique kindly granted me permission to use his image for my website. You can easily Identify Markarian 6 on the southern edge of this huge, heart-shaped nebula. (south is up). If you move the mouse over the image, an identifier will appear. If someone out there has some more information on resources for Markarian 6, please let me know. I would gladly add a little more information on this open cluster.


South is up, west is to the left (move mouse over image to identify Markarian 6)

Star Clusters by Brent and Hynes
Voyager by Capellasoft
Image from Dominique Suys