Discovered before 1654 by Giovanni Batista Hodierna.
M47 is a loose open cluster of about 50 stars in the constellation Puppis. M47 is located very close to M46, another open star cluster. Both of these objects are easily visible with the aid of binoculars. The cluster lies approximately 1,600 light years from our position in the Milky Way and spans a diameter of about 12 light years. It is receding from us at 9 kilometers per second. The age of the cluster is estimated to be 78 million years. Two bright members of the cluster are classed as K giants and are orange in color. Each of these stars is approximately 200 times the luminosity of our sun. These colorful stars, along with the cluster’s bright blue stars, make this swarm of celestial gems an especially appealing image.