Located in the
constellation Puppis, M46 is an open cluster of about 500 stars.
About 150 of these have a magnitude of between 10 and 13. This
cluster is believed to be around 300 million years old. It is 30
light-years across and is located approximately 5,400
light-years from the Earth. A large telescope will reveal a
small planetary nebula within the cluster. This nebula is not a
member of M46 but is actually located between the cluster and
us. This object is easily visible in a pair of binoculars with
good observing conditions.