NGC 1981 is well placed

2015 Dec 15

Dominic Ford – originally published on

The open star cluster NGC 1981 in Orion’s sword will be well placed for observation. It will reach its highest point in the sky at around midnight local time.

At a declination of -04°25', it is visible across much of the world; it can be seen at latitudes between 65°N and 74°S.

From London (click to change), it will be visible between 20:33 and 03:26. It will become accessible at around 20:33, when it rises 18° above your south-eastern horizon, and then reach its highest point in the sky at 23:58, 34° above your southern horizon. It will become inaccessible at around 03:26 when it sinks to 19° above your south-western horizon.

At magnitude 4.6, NGC1981 is too faint to be seen with the naked eye from any but the very darkest sites, but is visible through a pair of binoculars or small telescope.

The precise position of NGC1981 is as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
NGC1981 05h35m10s -04°25' Orion 4.6 25'00"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of