January 2020 - Picture of the Month
NGC 2467 in the Constellation of Puppis
We're back to the birth of stars rather than their demise to kick off the New Year, and heading to the southern skies to do it. Just over a degree to the east-south-east of Omicron Puppis you'll find an open cluster, or several, embedded in this spectacular nebula.
This is another stellar nursery, much beloved of this column, that's no more than a few million years old. Home to three open clusters: Haffner 18, Haffner 19 (both around 6 kpc distant) and the NGC 2467 cluster itself (about 4 kpc away). The Spitzer telescope has found many Young Stellar Objects (YSOs) still shrouded in the dust cloud that makes up the nebula, and is being sculpted by an O6 star in that bright region.
Distant is tricky as usual. For the open cluster data I've used 'Star Clusters' by Archinal and Hynes. However ESO and Hubble give a distance of 13 kpc, but whether this is to the nebula is unclear. The Hubble image give a fine close up.
The NGC 2467 nebula is about 15 arc-minutes across and accessible to those with moderately large telescopes and good skies. It was an Object of the Week over at the DeepSkyForum last March.
James Whinfrey - Website Administrator.