February Skylights

If you haven't yet spotted Mercury it may still be glimpsed during the first week in Feb low in the SSW evening twilight sky. Look for this elusive world 45 minutes after sunset no more than a fist height at arm's length above the horizon. By the 8th Mercury will lost in glare once again. [Read more about February Skylights ]

February Meteors

The minor Alpha Aurigids meteor shower peaks from Feb 6 - 9th. Rates are only the same as sporadic levels (4-6) but if you do spot a a meteor heading away from the direction of the zenith, (overhead) where  currently Auriga resides at this time of year, it is likely to be an Aurigid! [Read more about February Meteors]

M50 Open Cluster

M50 is an Open Cluster situated in the constallation Minoceros.  It is approximately 3000 Light-years from the earth.  M50 is said to be "Heart Shaped" .

  [Read more about M50 Open Cluster]

M78 is a Diffuse Nebular that came be found in Orion, upper left of the three belt stars.  M78 lies 1,600 Light-years away and is iluminated by two stars, HD 38563A and                         HD 38563B, which responsible for making the cloud of dust in M78 visible by reflecting their light.

[Read more about M78 Diffuse Nebula in Orion]

M79 Globular Cluster

M79 is a Globular Cluster in Lepus.  M79 lies 41,000 Light-Years away, and 60,000 Light-Years from the Galatic Centre.  Although not very spectacular in its own right, M79 is thought not to be of our own Milky Way Galaxy, but is assoscated with the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy which is currently experiencing a very close encounter with the Milky Way—one it is unlikely to survive intact. [Read more about M79 Globular Cluster]

M41 Open Cluster

M41 is an open cluster that can be found 4 degrees south of Canis Major. It lies 2,300 Light-Years away from us.  M41 contains about 100 stars including several red giants. [Read more about M41 Open Cluster]

M46 Open Cluster

M46 is an Open Cluster that can be found in Puppis.  M46 lies about 5,400 Light-Years away.  M46 and M47 lie very close together from our vantage point, and can be viewed  together through Binoculars or a short focus, wide field of view telescope.

[Read more about M46 Open Cluster]

M47 Open Cluster

M47 Lies in Puppis and is about 1,600 Light-Years away.  M47 is about 78 Million years old and can be viewed in the same binocular field as M46, or even a telescope with short focal length and wide field. [Read more about M47 Open Cluster]

M93 Open Cluster

M93 is yet another Open Cluster in Puppis.  M93 lies 3,600 Light-Years away from us and is estimated to be some 100 million years old.  [Read more about M93 Open Cluster]

M48 Open Cluster

M48 is an Open Cluster in Hydra and lies 1,500 Light-Years from us.  M48 is estimated to be 300 Million years old.  Intrestingly there is actually no cluster in the position indicated by Messier. [Read more about M48 Open Cluster]