Messier 50
Object Information:

Messier 50, also known as NGC 2323

Messier 50, also known by its New General Catalog designation of NGC 2323, is a large and bright open cluster in the constellation of Monoceros. The cluster was listed as the 50th object in Charles Messier’s catalog in 1772. However, it has been reported to have been identified in 1711 by G. D. Cassini.

The M50 open cluster is bright and easily observed with binoculars under a dark rural sky. The stars that make up the cluster are reported to be 3,200 light years away. Although it is believed that the members of the open cluster occupy an area about 20 light years in diameter, the central portion of the cluster seen in the image above is approximately 10 light years in diameter. The member stars are believed to be about 78 million years old.

Image date:

February 1, 2014

Exposure Information:

An RBG image consisting of 25 minutes for each color channel.

Imaged at:

Blair Valley, Anza Borrego State Park, San Diego County, California


Takahashi MT-160, Astro-Physics 900 GTO, SBIG ST-10XME with Baader MPCC