Messier 50. NGC 2323. The Heart-Shaped Cluster

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Messier 50 is a bright, young (78 million years old) open cluster located about 3200 light years away, in the constellation Monoceros. It contains about 100+ stars, most of which are massive, blue O and B stars. But it also has some red giants that stand out in this image (North to the right). The most conspicuous one (left of center) is HD 52938, a K3.5II-IIIBa0.5-spectral type red giant with visual magnitude +9.56. The brightest blue star (upper right of center) is HD 52980, a blue giant belonging to the spectral class B9II C.


Additional Information


Name(s): Messier 50. M50. NGC 2323

Type: Open Cluster

RA:  07h 02m 41s

Dec:  -08º 23’ 04”

Constellation: Monoceros

Size (arcmin): 16×16 arcmin

Magnitude: +5.9

Distance: 3200 ly


Date: 2021-01-19 to 2021-01-20

Location:, SSO near Coonabarabran, NSW Australia

Size (arcmin): 37×37 arcmin

Telescope: 17” f/6.8 Reflector

Camera: FLI PL16803 (4096x4096pix)

Guiding: Astrodon MonsterMOAG off-axis guider

Total exposure: 3 hours (L: 1h; RGB: 2h)

Processing: CCDStack, Photoshop CC 2021

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