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Messier 50 - An Open Cluster in Monoceros

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

Messier 50 is an open cluster in Monoceros. It is not often photographed and is located not far from the more popular Rosette Nebula.

Object Designation: M50

Constellation: Monoceros

Object Type: Open Cluster

Distance: 2,870 light-years away

Magnitude: 5.9

Discovered in: 1772

The open cluster Messier 50 is made up of about 200 stars. It is bright but pretty loose so it is not possible to see it with the naked eye. In photographs, M50 lacks any exciting features and so is rarely imaged by the amateur astrophotography community.

Messier 50 Galactic Hunter Astrophotography

Most of the stars in Messier 50 appear faint blue, with some bright orange members near the edges.

As you can see in the image on the left, the cluster pops up pretty nicely against the dark background but is not really dense. Some of the stars are really far from the center of the object.

Let's face it, M50 is not an exciting object to image, but it still deserves some love!

The image below is our result of M50. It is only one hour of total exposure and was taken from a Bortle 4 zone. Some type of very small nebula can be seen halfway between the cluster and the bottom right edge.

Messier 50 with the QHY600C

M56 Astrophotography from the backyard


Camera: QHY600C

Telescope: Stellarvue SVX130

Accessories: Moonlite Nightcrawler focuser

Processing: PixInsight


Total Exposure Time: 1 hour

Exposure Time per frame: 30 seconds