APOD: M46 and M47: Star Clusters Young and Old (2012 Apr 03)

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APOD: M46 and M47: Star Clusters Young and Old (2012 Apr 03)

Post by APOD Robot » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:06 am

Image M46 and M47: Star Clusters Young and Old

Explanation: Many stars form in clusters. Galactic or open star clusters are relatively young swarms of bright stars born together near the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy. Separated by about a degree on the sky, two nice examples are M46 (upper left) 5,400 light-years in the distance and M47 (lower right) only 1,600 light-years away toward the nautical constellation Puppis. Around 300 million years young M46 contains a few hundred stars in a region about 30 light-years across. Aged 80 million years, M47 is a smaller but looser cluster of about 50 stars spanning 10 light-years. But this portrait of stellar youth also contains an ancient interloper. The small, colorful patch of glowing gas in M46 is actually the planetary nebula NGC 2438 - the final phase in the life of a sun-like star billions of years old. NGC 2438 is estimated to be only 3,000 light-years distant and likely represents a foreground object, only by chance appearing along our line of sight to youthful M46.

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Beyond
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Re: APOD: M46 and M47: Star Clusters Young and Old (2012 Apr

Post by Beyond » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:48 am

I like the introoder Alert in the interloper link. It goes to show that when you stick your nose in the wrong place, you could have a cattastrophy. :puppy: :kitty: :yes:
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Re: APOD: M46 and M47: Star Clusters Young and Old (2012 Apr

Post by Boomer12k » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:17 am

It's full of stars...


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Re: APOD: M46 and M47: Star Clusters Young and Old (2012 Apr

Post by orin stepanek » Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:08 pm

I didn't notice NGC 2438 until I read the explanation! 8-)
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Re: APOD: M46 and M47: Star Clusters Young and Old (2012 Apr

Post by emc » Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:29 pm

Beyond wrote:I like the introoder Alert in the interloper link. It goes to show that when you stick your nose in the wrong place, you could have a cattastrophy. :puppy: :kitty: :yes:
I enjoyed the interloper as well… I can relate to the dog… curious but not in the same category as the resident

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Re: APOD: M46 and M47: Star Clusters Young and Old (2012 Apr

Post by emc » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:30 pm

orin stepanek wrote:I didn't notice NGC 2438 until I read the explanation! 8-)
I also appreciate the enormous help provided by the captions. And I appreciate ALL the work provided by our support team. APOD is deep.

breathe deep what lies upon our eyes
watch light fade from out of the sky
man with his vast vision must improve our sight
far above the cloud
revealing the heavens clear of misty shroud


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