Messier 37 – or NGC 2099 – is an open cluster of stars located in the constellation Auriga, 4,500 lightyears from Earth.
It is found near the intersection of the Galactic Equator and Galactic Meridian, which puts it virtually opposite the direction of our own galaxy’s core as seen from Earth.
M37 is part of the Messier Catalogue of deep-sky objects compiled by French astronomer Charles Messier in the 18th century, but it was actually discovered by Italian astronomer Giovanni Battista Hodierna much earlier: before 1654.
It is one of three Messier open star clusters located in Auriga, the other two being M37 and M38. For advice on how to observe these deep-sky targets along with others in the constellation, read our guide to open star clusters in Auriga.
Messier 37 contains over 500 confirmed stars, including 150 stars brighter than mag. +12.5 and about a dozen red giants.
Take time to seek out M37 and its fellow Auriga neighbours. A small telescope will show the cluster as a haze of partially-resolved stars, but a 250mm or larger instrument will really bring out its stellar beauty.
Below is a selection of images of Messier 37 captured by astrophotographers and BBC Sky at Night Magazine readers.