About this image
M48 is an open cluster in the constellation Hydra. About 300 million years old and 1500 light-years away, M48 was unidentified until the 1950s due to a five degree error in Messier's published position, making it perhaps the most missing of the `missing' Messier objects. M48 contains close to a hundred stars spread out over a large region of the sky, but can still be identified with the naked eye when observing conditions are good.
This approximately true-color picture was created from twelve images taken in January 1997 using BVR colors, at the Burrell Schmidt telescope of Case Western Reserve University's Warner and Swasey Observatory located on Kitt Peak, near Tucson, Arizona. Image size 40.6 arc minutes.
Minimum credit line: NOAO/AURA/NSF
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