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Astron. Astrophys. 357, 145-148 (2000)

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4. Conclusions

We reported on photometry in B, V and I passbands for NGC 6994, an object previously classified as open cluster.

The analysis of the observed cluster field, and the distribution of the stars in the CMD seems to favor the suggestion that this object is not really an open cluster, but simply an enhancement of four bright stars in the general galactic field.

The conclusion of this work can be summarized as follows:

  • NGC 6994 is an asterism of four stars and not an open cluster;

  • NGC 6994 is unlikely to be an OCR;

  • M 73 should not be considered a binary system; instead it can be used as a duplicate name for NGC 6994;

Carraro & Patat (1995) found another object classified as open cluster - Ruprecht 46 - which was proved to be just a random fluctuation in the field of the galactic disk. We wonder whether the possibility exists that some other unstudied or poorly studied open clusters might not be real open clusters, but OCRs or just random star concentration fluctuations in the galactic disk.

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: May 3, 2000