M46 in Puppis
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Scope: Megrez II at f/5.5, Location: Blair Valley, Anza Borrego Desert, CA   28 January 2011  Camera: Artemis285

Exposure: 10 x 3 min  (1x1 bin) exposure with UV/IR block, 8 x 2 min (2x2 bin) RGB exposures.

Processing: Images were captured  with Artemis Capture (as FITs).  Aligned/stacked and dark subtracted in Astroart with Sigma Combine.   IR / UV Blocking  filter  and Color channels were scaled and  color balanced in Astroart.  Channels were co-registered in Astroart.   Central gradient removal was performed in Astroart. Luminance channel consisted of the IR/UV blocking filter exposures.  Curves and Levels applied in Photoshop to the Luminance channel to optimize star depth.    Final LRGB combine was done in Photoshop.  Final Image size is approximately 1600 x 1195.

North is up in this image. M46 is an open cluster located in the constellation of Puppis. A remarkable feature in this field is the planetary nebula NGC 2438 - it can be seen hanging just above the cluster's main central area. It's distance from Earth is approximately 2,900 light years. The main cluster is about 5,400 light years distant from Earth - making the planetary a "foreground" object.  Horizontal FOV is 70'

Image center is approximately - Equatorial 2000: RA: 07h 41m 51.s Dec: -1449'01"

 

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