Messier 50 (NGC 2323)
is a bright open star cluster of nearly 6th magnitude with an apparent diameter
of 16 arc minutes in the constellation of Unicorn. Its distance from the solar
system is about 3,200 light years, and its total mass is estimated to be about
1,000 solar masses.
about 500 stars of the 12th to 16th magnitude class, it is assigned to the
Trumpler classification II 3 m. With an estimated age of only 100 million years
it is one of the younger star clusters in our galaxy.
Messier 50 was discovered in 1711 by
the French astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini. On April 5, 1772, Charles
Messier observed this open star cluster and added it to his