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Name / Constellation

M 48

Other: NGC 2548; Mel 85; Cr 179; OCl 584


Coordinates AR: 08h 13m 43,1s - Dec: -05° 45′ 00″
Optics Takahashi FSQ 106N APO Fluorite F5 - 60/220 guiding refractor
Camera-Mount SBIG STF8300M - Orion StarShot Guider - 10Micron GM2000 QCI Mount
Filters Baader LRGB
  • Lum
  • Red
  • Green
  • Blue
  • 6 x 180 sec - 18 min
  • 6 x 180 sec - 18 min
  • 6 x 180 sec - 18 min
  • 6 x 180 sec - 18 min
Location / Date Promiod (Valle D'Aosta-Italy) "TLP" Remote Observatory - 30/12/2019 - 01/01/2020
Seeing About 3.8 " @ 2.1 arcosec/pixel unbinned
Acquisition MaxIm DL - CCD Autopilot 5
Processing Adobe Photoshop CC -

Messier 48 or M48, also known as NGC 2548, is an open cluster of stars in the constellation of  Hydra. It was discovered by Charles Messier in 1771. There is no cluster in the position indicated by Messier. The value that he gave for the right ascension matches that of NGC 2548, however, his declination is off by five degrees. Credit for discovery is sometimes given instead to Caroline Herschel in 1783. Her nephew John Herschel described it as, "a superb cluster which fills the whole field; stars of 9th and 10th to the 13th magnitude – and none below, but the whole ground of the sky on which it stands is singularly dotted over with infinitely minute points". The brightest component is HIP 40348 at visual magnitude 8.3. M48 is visible to the naked eye under good atmospheric conditions. It is located some 2,500 light-years from the Sun. The age estimated from isochrones is  400±100 Myr, while gyrochronology age estimate is  450±50 Myr – in good agreement. The cluster has a tidal radius of 63.3 ± 7.8 ly (19.4 ± 2.4 pc) with at least 438 members and a mass of  2,366.  The general structure of the cluster is fragmented and lumpy, which may be due to interactions with the galactic disk. The cluster is now subdivided into three groups, each of which has its own collective proper motion.