Discovered 1774 by Charles Messier.
Messier 52 is an open cluster located in a rich Milky Way field. M52 is sometimes referred to as the “Salt and Pepper Cluster”. It is comprised of approximately 193 member stars. It is located in the constellation Cassiopeia at an estimated distance of approximately 5000 light years. The apparent diameter of the cluster is about 19 light years. M52 lies in close proximity to the more famous “Bubble Nebula” and perhaps for this reason it is often overlooked by amateur astronomers. It is, however, a fine celestial “jewel” that should be an object to behold by anyone using even a small telescope or binoculars.