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A Puppis pair

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About this observation
Observer
Nick Hewitt
Time of observation
04/02/2019 - 22:00
Object
Messiers 46 & 47
Observing location
Northampton
Equipment
Starwave 70mm
EQ8
Canon 60Da
IDAS filter
Exposure
20 x 60secs
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Low down even in midwinter but a fine contrasting pair of open clusters for a clear frosty night. Messier 46 is rich and contains some 200 stars brighter than 13th magnitude in a fairly circular area about 20' across; it is uncertain as to whether it is related to the small planetary nebula seemingly superimposed on it (just showing on this small-scale image). NGC 2438 has a similar radial velocity to the cluster so may be linked.

Messier 47 is a much brighter at magnitude 4 and is about 3 times closer, less rich and a bit larger at 30'. The pair is stunning in large binoculars from more southern latitudes.

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