Star Cluster  Back to Photo Gallery - Star Cluster
 Open Clusters in Puppis 


M 46
M 47
NGC 2423
NGC 2425

NGC 2438 PN
SAO 153227
PK231+4.1 200%
 

About:
Many stars form in clusters. Galactic or open star clusters are relatively young swarms of bright stars born together near the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy. Separated by about a degree on the sky, two nice examples are M46 (upper right) 5,400 light-years in the distance and M47 (mid-lower left)t only 1,600 light-years away toward the nautical constellation Puppis. Around 300 million years young M46 contains a few hundred stars in a region about 30 light-years across. Aged 80 million years, M47 is a smaller but looser cluster of about 50 stars spanning 10 light-years. But this portrait of stellar youth also contains an ancient interloper. The small, colorful patch of glowing gas in M46 is actually the planetary nebula NGC 2438 - the final phase in the life of a sun-like star billions of years old. NGC 2438 is estimated to be only 3,000 light-years distant and likely represents a foreground object, only by chance appearing along our line of sight to youthful M46. [Text from APOD]

Optics: Takahashi FSQ-106EDXIII F/3.6 383mm. - APO Refractor
Mount: SW HEQ5 Pro
Camera: ATIK 4000LE with SX USB Filter Wheel
Filters: Baader LRGB 2"
Guiding Systems: SX OAG with SX Lodestar
Dates/Times: 24 December 2011
Location: Pragelato - Turin - Italy
Exposure Details: R:G:B => 25:25:25 = > (5x5):(5x5):(5x5) All Bin1 [num x minutes]
Cooling Details: -20 C
Acquisition: Maxim DL/CCD, Perseus
Processing: CCDStack, PixInsight, PS CS2
Mean FWHM: 3.39
SQM-L: 21.17