Open Cluster Messier 41

Messier 41
Messier 41: Section of the STScI Digitized Sky Survey [147]


The open star cluster M 41 was already known in ancient times as one of the «cloudy spots» in the night sky and was menteioned in 325 BC by Aritotle. In 1765 Charles Messier entered it as number 41 on his list.

Physical Properties

About 25 bright stars and many weaker ones can be found in the cluster, which has a total of about 100 stars from 7th to 13th magnitude, which extend over an area about the size of the full moon. In the center there is a conspicuous reddish K-type star (HD 49091) with about 6.9 mag, and about 700 times brighter than our sun. Many of the other stars seem to group in curved curves, a property that is also found in M 35 and M 37. The distance to the cluster is 693 pc (2260 light years), making the cluster about 20 light years in diameter. It moves away at around 23 km/s to 26 km/s. [4, 145, 196]

«Revised New General Catalogue and Index Catalogue» Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke, 2021 [277]
DesignationNGC 2287
TypeOCL (II3m)
Right Ascension06h 46m 00.0s
Declination-20° 45' 24"
Diameter39.00 arcmin
Visual magnitude4.5 mag
Dreyer DescriptionCl, vL, B, lC, st 8…
IdentificationM 41, OCL 597, ESO 557-SC14

Finder Chart

The star cluster M 41 is located in the constellation Canis Major, around 4° south of the bright star Sirius. It is best visible from December to February.

Chart Messier 41
Chart created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. [149, 160]


4«Burnham's Celestial Handbook: An Observer's Guide to the Universe Beyond the Solar System» by Robert Burnham; Dover Publications, Inc.; Voume I: ISBN 0-486-23567-X; Volume II: ISBN 0-486-23568-8; Volume III: ISBN 0-486-23673-0
145SIMBAD astronomical database;
147Aladin Lite; (2020-12-23)
149SkySafari 6 Pro, Simulation Curriculum;
160The STScI Digitized Sky Survey;
196Celestial Atlas by Curtney Seligman; (2020-12-28)
277«Historische Deep-Sky Kataloge» von Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke; (2021-02-17)