NGC 362

45 minutes exposure on Fuji Super HG II 400 film. 5" f/5 refractor, prime focus.

NGC 362 is a moderately large and bright globular cluster in Tucana, very close to the Small Magellanic Cloud. At magnitude 6.8 and around 13' across, it is a fine object for small telescopes. Yet it is almost totally unknown. There are most likely 2 reasons for this. Firstly it is situated at a declination of around -70 degrees. This means it is unaccessable to virtually all northern hemisphere observers. The second reason is its competition! It is very close to a naked-eye galaxy and to one of the finest globular clusters in the sky, NGC 104 or 47 tucanae! For this reason, many observers overlook this cluster, to their loss. Part of the Small Magellanic Cloud is visible in the bottom left of the photograph.

In a small telescope, the cluster appears as a moderately large, nebulous patch of light. In an 8" telescope, partial resolution is achieved.

Towards the top of the picture is a small streak. This is the 13th magnitude galaxy NGC 406.