M46 - Open Cluster in Puppis



M 46 (NGC 2437) is an open star cluster that lies 5500 light years away in the constellation of Puppis. It was discovered by Charles Messier in 1771. The cluster spans 30 light years and contains approximately 500 stars. It is relatively young - 300 million years old.

The planetary nebula NGC 2438 appears to be within the borders of the cluster but is actually 1500 light years closer to us.


Telescope: Takahashi TOA 130 NFB
Camera: Modified Canon T4i (650D); ISO 1600; raw capture
Mount:  iOptron CEM60
Guiding: QHY 5L-II on 60mm guide scope
Exposure: 16 @ 5 min.

Images were captured, aligned, and combined in ImagesPlus. The composite image was adjusted in Photoshop.

Taken from my backyard observatory on 3/26/22.

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