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Open Clusters M 46 and M 47
(NGC 2437 and NGC 2422)

Date:03.03.02 Time:20:26 UT Exposure:35 min
Field of View:3.4o x 4.8o (big image) Emulsion: Kodak Ektachrome 200/400 Filter:none
Instrument:f=300mm 1/4.5 Place:Römerstein, Alb Observer:Till Credner

© Copyright by the observers

This pair of open star clusters in Puppis is a fine view for binoculars (see the Canis Major page with parts of Puppis to find the position in the sky). On the left hand side (east) is rich M 46 (NGC 2437) and on the right hand side the brighter but more loose cluster of M 47 (NGC 2422). Just north of M 47 lies the small cluster NGC 2423. These clusters are only aligned by chance, M 46 is believed to be about three times more distant than M 47. So they are not a physical pair like for example it is believed today for h and chi Persei. An extraordinary feature of M 46 is the small planetary nebulae NGC 2438 at its northern border which can be seen as a reddish smudge on the above tele lens image. However, this nebula is probably just a foreground object.

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