BinoSky - best bets for stargazing with binoculars
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NGC2451, an open cluster in Puppis
A map of the star field. Magnitudes are given without a decimal point, e.g. 67 is to be interpreted as magnitude 6.7.

How to Find It
Starting from zeta Puppis, move a short distance toward pi. I have successfully observed the cluster even when the horizon was too hazy for Puppis to be visible with the naked eye; the unmistakeable asterism around Pi Puppis (see below) can be found by dead-reckoning from Canis Major, and from there it's only a short hop to Zeta Pup and NGC2451.

A favorite of mine, this is one of those broad clusters for which binoculars are really more appropriate than a telescope. What makes it unusually attractive is the contrast in color between the brilliant red star c Puppis in the foreground and the white members of the cluster, of which at least five are easily seen.

Northern observers should not be scared away -- this is a nice bright cluster, easily visible from the southern US at the right time of year.

Nearby Scenery
While visiting the region, a similar colorfest can be enjoyed in the garish red supergiant Pi Puppis and its three white neighbors.

60-degree field of view

Data (Janes, Duke, and Lynga, 1987)
RA 07 45
dec -37 58
total V magnitude 2.8
NGC number 2451
Trumpler class II 2 m
angular diameter 50'
distance 315 pc
age (Myr) 36
integrated B-V .56
observed stars 153
earliest sp. class B7
brightest star 6.0

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(c) Copyright 1998 Benjamin Crowell. All right reserved.
Photos from the Digitized Sky Survey,
Sky maps created by Your Sky,