M46. This fine open cluster is near Sirius the brightest star in the sky. It appears to contain the small planetary nebula NGC 2438--although the nebula is 6500 ly distant and the cluster is 5300 light years distant. Planetary nebulas are the illuminated shells of a once giant star with the parent star shrinking to a residual white dwarf . Other fine planetaries are M57 the "Ring" and M27 the "Dumbell". Near M46 is the open cluster M47. Pentax 105SHDF, f/6.7, IDAS filter. Colorado Springs, Feb 2005