Deep Sky Object Open Cluster

Messier 34

M34 is an open cluster in Perseus, reaching its annual culmination at astronomical midnight around November 5th.

Messier 34, located in the constellation Perseus, is an open star cluster approximately 180 million years old. Spanning about 35 light-years, it shines at magnitude 5.2 with blue and white stars, indicating ongoing stellar evolution processes within its loose arrangement.

Names or Catalog Numbers

  • Messier 34 (M34)
  • Melotte 17 (Mel 17)
  • NGC 1039

Position and Cosmic Neighborhood

Messier 34 is situated in the constellation Perseus, surrounded by celestial neighbors such as Cassiopeia and Andromeda. Its location in the northern celestial hemisphere makes it easily visible to amateur astronomers and provides a rich cosmic backdrop for observation.

Special Facts

  • M34’s youth provides insights into early stellar evolution in open clusters.
  • Its loose arrangement of stars suggests ongoing star formation processes.
  • Accessible visibility to amateur astronomers makes it a popular target for observation.
  • Messier 34’s proximity to neighboring celestial objects allows for comparative studies and astrophotography.


  • Brightness: Magnitude 5.2
  • Distance: Approximately 1,533 light-years
  • Size (Light-years): Approximately 35
  • Size (Arcminutes): Approximately 25