M50 (NGC 2323)
An open cluster in the southern part
of the constellation Monoceros, a little to
the northeast of Sirius. Containing 80 stars and shining at about 6th magnitude,
M50 is an attractive object in binoculars with one reddish sun standing
out against the predominantly blue-and-white member stars. Possibly seen
by Giovanni Cassini before 1711, it was
later seen by Charles Messier in 1772. The
Rev. T. W. Webb recorded it as a "Brilliant cluster, straggling, Herschel
says to 30'; containing a red star; between Sirius and Procyon, 1/3 nearer
the former, in a superb neighbourhood, where the Creator has sowed with
stars the heaven thick as a field."
||15 × 20'
||R.A. 07h 03.2m, Dec. -08° 20'
AND STAR CLUSTERS