k Puppis

k Puppis is a convenient starting point for Puppis: binoculars.

(Notice that this is not the Greek kappa; many labels here are English upper case and lower case.)

k Puppis is a noted double (H III 27)AB of two nearly equal bright stars: 4.4, 4.6; 317, 10.2".

In the same field, on the northern edge, is M93, an open cluster with an apparent magnitude of 6.0, nicely seen in binoculars. Blue giants are the most visible; there are about 80-100 members of the cluster which is estimated to be 100 million years old.

North of M93 two binocular fields are M46 and M47.

M46 and M47 are two bright open clusters, apparent magnitudes 6.1 and 4.2 respectively.

M46 is composed of around 500 stars, many of which are pale blue A0 spectral type, giving an estimated age of the cluster at 300 million years old.

M47 has only a tenth the population of M46 and is more scattered; it's estimated age is 78 million years. An error in Messier's catalogue led to this cluster being lost until 1959.

The multiple system Struve 1121 is found near the centre of this cluster, perhaps a dozen members in all. The most accessible are:
      AB: 6.9, 7.3; 306, 7.4".
      AD: 6.9, 9.6; 102, 72.1".
      AE: 6.9, 9.9; 233, 69.8".
      AG: 6.9, 7.7; 4, 82.0".
      AI: 6.9, 6.7; 28, 164.9".
      AJ: 6.9, 8.6; 357, 197.5".

Also in your field of view is 2 Puppis (Struve 1138), two blue-white stars: 6.0, 6.7; 340, 16.9".


For the stars in the southern portion of Puppis it is most convenient to begin with Canopus, alpha Carinae.

With the naked eye, from Canopus move up ten degrees to the next bright star, which is nu Puppis. From nu move east about eight degrees, roughly one and a half fields. You will see two bright stars at opposite sides of the field; to the south I Puppis and to the north sigma Puppis.

Click on sigma on the map to continue.

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1999-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.