Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors

Astrophotography Brian A. Morganti

M 46 (NGC-2437)

M 47 (NGC-2422)


Open Clusters




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 M47M46 (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. 


  • Date & Location:  January 14, 2010  - Bernville, PA

  • Weather:  Calm, 21F.

  • Sky Conditions:  Patchy cirrus with average transparency. 

  • Optics:  TeleVue NP101is Refractor with 0.8x TeleVue Reducer = 432mm @ f4.3

  • Filter:  Astronomic  EOS clip-in CLS-CCD (Light Pollution Suppression)

  • Mount:  Losmandy G-11 equatorial with Gemini V4

  • Guiding:  Orion Solitaire w/TeleVue TV60is

  • Camera:  Canon T1i (500D) Hap Griffin Modified - Baader UV/IR

  • Exposure:  45 min (9 x 5 min) @ ISO 400 RAW

  • Calibration Frames:  No dark frame subtraction (21F)

  • Processing:  Photoshop CS4, Noise Ninja, NIK, Noel Carboni Astronomy Tools

  • Comments:  Background sky was darkened in processing a bit more than usual in order to make the star colors more prominent.   I'd like to try this shot again with my 60mm scope in order to capture all of M46 and the small planetary nebula 1.1 arcmin NGC2438.


Astrophotography  -  Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors