NGC 2451

45 minutes exposure, Fuji Superia 400 film.
5" f/5 refractor, prime focus.

NGC 2451 is large, scattered cluster of bright stars in Puppis that is visible to the naked eye. In the centre of the cluster is the bright orange star c puppis. A good object for a wide field telescope.

Very close by NGC 2451 is the very rich open cluster NGC 2477.  It is interesting to compare the two clusters in the telescope. NGC 2451 has bright stars which display good colours, yet is large and very scattered. In NGC 2477 on the other hand, the stars are much more uniform in appearence and the cluster is one of the most compact open clusters in the sky.

In recent times there have been questions raised about NGC 2451 being a real cluster. Some studies have indicated that it my just be a chance lineup of unrelated stars. Real cluster or not, it is still an interesting object to view.