|M41: Open Star Cluster (Canis Major) RA: 06h 46.0m / DEC: -20° 45'.3|
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder
M41 is easy to find. Just aim your telescope at Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, and move 4 degrees due south. M41 should be readily visible in your finder scope. It's integrated visual magnitude of 4.5 would make M41 an easy naked eye object, if not for the proximity of Sirius. More experienced observers may still detect this open star cluster without optical aid. My drawing is based on a 36X view in the 10-inch Starfinder. A total of 61 stars are drawn and all but the southernmost group of four are cluster members. A branch of 12th magnitude and brighter stars runs northwest-to-southeast through the heart of M41. The brightest members shine at 7th magnitude.
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Revised: February 10, 2002 [WDF]