Southern Hemisphere

features of interest xi © PUPPIS k A 3rd-magnitude star with a wide and unrelated 5th-magnitude companion visible in binoculars.

I< PUPPIS 5 A pair of nearly identical 5th-magnitude stars divisible through small telescopes.

L PUPPIS 2 K A wide naked-eye and binocular pair. The more northerly of them, L2 Puppis, is a variable red giant that ranges between 3rd and 6th magnitudes every 5 months or so.

M46 AND M47 K 5 A pair of open clusters that together create a brighter patch in the Milky Way. Both appear similar in size to a full moon. M46 is the richer of the two, while M47 is more scattered. M47 is also the closer, about 1,500 light-years away, less than one-third the distance of M46.

M93 K 5 An attractive open cluster for binoculars and small telescopes. It appears triangular or like an arrowhead in shape and has two orange giants near its apex. It lies about 3,500 light-years away.

NGC 2451 2 K A more scattered open cluster than M93. Its brightest star is a c Puppis, a 4th-magnitude orange giant, near its center.

NGC 2477 K 5 One of the richest open clusters, containing an estimated 2,000 stars.

Vela Velorum (Vel)

width ll depth mm size RANKING 32nd fuLLY VlslBLE 32°n-90°s

Vela is one of the three parts into which the ancient Greek constellation Argo Navis (depicting the ship of Jason and the Argonauts) was divided in the 18th century. Vela represents the ship's sails. The labeling of the stars in Vela starts with gamma (y) because Argo's stars Alpha (a) and Beta (P) are now in neighboring Carina.

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