Waid Observatory

Object: NGC 2438
Date: Feb. 7, 2020   -   Location: Davis Mountains west of Fort Davis, TX
Telescope: 10 in. RC   Mount: Paramount MX   Camera: Apogee F8300M
Exposure: L = 80 min.   R G & B = 60 min. each   Ha = 120 min.
Click on the image below to view at higher resolution.


NGC 2438


NGC 2438 1,2

Discovered 1771 by Charles Messier

Planetary nebula NGC 2438 appears superimposed over the open star cluster M46, although it is certainly not a member of the cluster, but a foreground object that is approximately 3,000 lightyears distant.  NGC 2438 is one of the discoveries of William Herschel, who cataloged it as H IV.39.  The faint central star, which is now a white dwarf, can be seen close to a background star.  This background star is probably a member of M46, as are many of the bright stars in the image.  Surrounding the bright planetary is a ring, or halo, of hydrogen gas that was expelled during the earlier red gaint phase of the dying star.  This faint, diffused, feature is composed of ionized hydrogen and is visble in long Ha (Hydrogen Alpha) filtered exposures.


Copyright Donald P. Waid