M46 and NGC2438;  Puppis 
Astro-Physics 155EDF f/7 
ST-10XME 
RGB  40:30:35 min. 
Astrodon filters 
January 4, 2006;  Inkom, ID 
Comments:  This beautiful open cluster can be seen in the southern winter sky in the constellation Puppis.  The stars of the cluster are beautifully colored as is the small planetary nebula NGC2438.  NGC2438 appears to be on the cluster's border but astrometric data suggest that NGC2438 is likely not contained within M46, only superimposed.  The estimated distance to M46 is 4,600 light years while the distance for NGC2438 is 2,900 light years. 
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