Dark Horse Observatory

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Kimberton, PA US


Image Details: M046

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Object/Name: M046 (NGC 2437) Image Details:
Type: Open Cluster Trumpler type II 2 r Luminance IRB:5.00 min. (15) – 75.00 min. 1x1
Constellation: Puppis Red:5.00 min. (11) – 55.00 min. 1x1
RA: 07 hours 41.8 minutes Green:5.00 min. (14) – 70.00 min. 1x1
Dec: -14 degreees 49 minutes Blue:5.00 min. (11) – 55.00 min. 1x1
Distance: 5,300.0 light years Total Time:255 minutes
Magnitude: 6.1 mag   
Size: 27.0 x 27.0 arc minutes   
Imaging Dates: 28 February - 2 March 2008   
Location: Dark Horse Observatory, Kimberton, PA 19460 U.S.A.   
Telescope: Takahashi BRC-250 Mount: Mountain Instruments
CCD: SBIG ST-10XME Rotator: Optec Pxyis Rotator
Focuser: Finger Lakes Instruments DF2 Filters: Astrodon Series E
Software Used:
  MaximDL v 1.45 FocusMax
The Sky 6 CCDAutoPilot3
CCDStack MiraPro
PS CS3 RC Gradient Xterminator
Noise Ninja Noel Carboni’s Photoshop Tools
Detailed Information:
M46 is a very rich open cluster of stars located in Puppis. It was discovered my Messier in 1771. It has a nearby neighbor not seen in this image, M47. While they are close visually, they are not alike. M46 is an older cluster than M47 (300 million years vs. 55 million years respectively). It is also richer containing around 150 stars in the range of 10th to 13th magnitude and approximately 500 stars total.

NGC2438 is a small planetary nebula visualized within the open cluster. M46, but it there is some debate as to whether it is associated with the cluster or not. Various estimates place it from 2900 ly 60 6,500 ly distant. Some recent data from 1996 published based upon the recessional velocity by R. Pauls and L. Kohoutek suggests that it may actually be physically associated to the open cluster. This small planetary nebula began to form around 45,000 years ago. The central star, although clearly visible in this image shines only at 16th magnitude and as such is a challenging visual target.

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