Messier 47, an Open Cluster

Messier 47. Image Credit: Maheder Hailesillasie
Messier 47: Open cluster Messier 47 is the brighter counterpart to Messier 46. At a magnitude of 5.2, Messier 47 is nearly visible to the unaided eye and pops out in binoculars. This open cluster is 1,600 light years away but is quickly receding from us. Using a telescope, you may also be able to spot the binary star system within the cluster. Finding this cluster is a little difficult but if you can find the star Sirius you shouldn’t have much trouble. Once you find Sirius look 13 degrees East in your binoculars and you’ll find two open clusters: M46 and M47. M47 will be the brighter and less dense, but is much more easily resolved. Try comparing the 2 clusters and see which one you enjoy more.

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