NGC 2438

Planetary Nebula NGC 2438 (= H IV.39 = FC 87), type IV+II, in Puppis

[NGC 2438 image, AAT]
Right Ascension 07 : 41.8 (h:m)
Declination -14 : 44 (deg:m)
Distance 2.9 (kly)
Visual Brightness 10.8 (mag)
Apparent Dimension > 1.1 (arc min)

Discovered by William Herschel in 1786.

Planetary nebula NGC 2438 appears superimposed over the open star cluster M46, although it is certainly no member of the cluster, but a foreground object (see M46 for details). It is one of the discoveries of William Herschel, who cataloged it as H IV.39.

Our image was obtained by David Malin with the 3.9-meter Anglo-Australian and is copyrighted © Anglo-Australian Observatory. The image is a 3-color composit created from red, green and blue photographic plates. The faint central star appears close to a background star, which is probably a member of M46, as many of the other stars in the image.

The central star of NGC 2438 is of magnitude 17.5 and exhibits a continuous spectrum.

Long exposures by David Malin with the Anglo-Australian Telescope have shown that this planetary has an extended halo, extending somewhat beyond its apparent diameter of 66".

  • SIMBAD Data of NGC 2438
  • Observing Reports for NGC 2438 (IAAC Netastrocatalog)

    Hartmut Frommert (
    Christine Kronberg (

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    Last Modification: 26 Apr 1998, 10:25 MET