NGC 2571 -- Open Cluster in Puppis
Eyes of Diamond Surrounded by Sparkles
The constellation of the “Stern of the Ship Argo” (Puppis) is for the most part too far south from
my location in Central Maryland to view – but not all of it. There is a wide northern extension of
the constellation that rides the milky way north just to the east of Canis Major culminating in the
well-known Open Clusters of M46 and M47 (also do not forget the Open Cluster M93 south of
them). In addition, there are many additional Puppis Open Clusters along this stretch of the
Milky Way worth visiting. Two local Parks provided me far better southern views of the sky than
from my backyard, which I sketched eight of the best of the northern non-Messier Puppis Open
Clusters on the evenings of March 2nd and March 3rd (NGC 2421, 2479, 2482, 2489, 2509,
2527, 2567 and 2571).
In the center of NGC 2571 shines two bright 9th magnitude stars. These white diamonds are
surrounded by a sprinkling of 10th to 11th magnitude stars. This Open Cluster was a stunning
sight in the 110mm refractor and my favorite object for the observing night of March 3rd.