M46 and M47, Star Clusters in Puppis

This two degree field shows one of the finest sights in the winter Milky Way, the paired star clusters M46 and M47. These objects may appear close together, but they are far from being twins. M46, on the left, is a fine cloud of numerous faint stars, while M47 is more sparse and coarse, with a few conspicuously brighter stars. M46 contains a further attraction, the small planetary nebula NGC 2438, seen here as a tiny aqua-colored dot.

This image was made with my 92mm refractor from Scout Key in Florida, home of the Winter Star Party.

Image copyright by Joe Bergeron.