Object Name: M 46 / NGC 2438 / PK 231+4.1
Object Type: Open Cluster / Planetary Nebula / Planetary Nebula
Location: Scheidegg, Bavaria, Germany
Date: November 16th, 2012
Media: Graphite pencil on paper, digitally inverted
I am working on a personla project that involves the observation of planetary nebulae that have cosmic companions in close proximity (less than half a degree in angular distance). The sketch shows the most spectacular of that list of 14 PNs. b
I first observed NGC 2438 and PK 231+4.1 individually in 2010 from Tucson, AZ, USA. It was not until lately that I realized that both PNs as well as the biggest part of M 46 would fit in a single FOV when using low power.
On November 16th, I was able to observe that beautiful part of the sky with my 18″ Dobsonian telescope having superb conditions (fst 7m0). The sketch was made at 94x and I noted: M 46 and NGC 2438 are brilliant as usual. NGC 2438 shows a distinct ring structure and is very bright. Filters improve contrast. PK 231+4.1 is quite weak and definitely requires a filter to be seen. I first needed 226x in order to see that faint planetary nebula. Once spotted and located, it can also be seen at 94x together with the other two objects. PK 231+4.1 also shows some extent but is way smaller than NGC 2438.