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What is Messier 48?

Messier 48 (M48) is an open star cluster located in Hydra, the largest constellation in the sky. The cluster has an apparent magnitude of 5.5 and lies at a distance of 1,500 light years from Earth.

Did Messier make an error with the M47?

This grouping was discovered by Charles Messier in 1771, but there is no cluster precisely where Messier indicated; he made an error, as he did with M47. The value that he gave for the right ascension matches, however, his declination is off by five degrees.

What is the significance of Messier 46?

Messier 46 was one of Charles Messier’s original discoveries. Messier first observed the cluster in 1771, after he had already published the first edition of his catalogue. He added M46, M47, M48 and M49 to the list on February 19, 1771, only three days after presenting his catalogue to the academy.

What does M48 look like?

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". M48 is visible to the naked eye under good atmospheric conditions.

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