Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors
Astrophotography © Brian A. Morganti
M 46 (NGC-2437)
M 47 (NGC-2422)
M46 & M47 in the constellation Puppis are usually neglected by northern observers because they are so low on the horizon. Only for a few hours each night during the coldest of winter months can these clusters be spotted, hovering above the trees. Like a pair of mismatched jewels the faint 400 stars of M46 contrast with the bright but sparse 50 stars of M47. M46 (partially visible on lower left) shows its age of 300 million years with some yellow suns at a distance of 5,400 light-years, while younger M47 (lower right) is only 80 million years old and still has a few blue-white brilliant stars 1,600 light-years distance. In the upper center can be seen the loose open cluster NGC2423 which can be defined from the background stars. Barely visible in the lower center can also be seen the tiny cluster NGC 2425 made up of a few tightly packed reddish stars.
Astrophotography - Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors