M 46

Messier 46 (also catalogued as NGC 2437) is an open cluster in the constellation of Puppis. This is is very rich cluster, with its 150 stars of mag. between 10 and 13. The brightest of these stars are of spectral type A0, and each is about 100 times more luminous than the Sun. The age of M 46 is estimated to be about 300 million years. The stars of the cluster are scattered over about 27', which corresponds to a linear extension of 30 light years at the cluster's distance of 5,400 light years. A special feature in this cluster is the planetary nebula NGC 2438 (also catalogued PK 231+04.2) which appears within the borders of M46. However, this nebula is most probably not a member of the cluster. In this image you can spot another planetary nebula - PK 231 +4.1, which is smaller and dimmer than NGC 2438. You can see both planetaries together in this crop. This image is taken remotely from the remote controlled IRIDA Observatory .


Technical Details:

Optics: ASA N12 Astrograph at F/3.6
Mount: ASA DDM 85
Camera: SBIG STL-11000M
Filters: Astronomik LRGB filter set
Dates/Times: 18 November 2012
Location: Rozhen, IRIDA Remote Observatory
Exposure Details: L = 50 min, R = 40 min., G = 40 min., B = 40 min.
Subexposures: 10 minutes
Acquisition: CCD Soft
Processing: PixInsight, Photoshop CS

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