|Rektascenzija||06 : 47.0 (u:m)
|Deklinacija||-20 : 44 (sto:m)
|Razdalja||2.3 (*1000 sv.l.)
|Vizual. magnituda||4.6 (mag)
|Zorni kot||38.0 (loc min)
M41 is lying about 4 degrees nearly exactly south of Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. It contains about 100 stars, including several red (or orange) giants, the brightest being of spectral type K3 and mag 6.9, and situated near the cluster's center. This star is about 700 times more luminous than our Sun. The stars are distrubuted over a volume about 25 or 26 light years across, and all receding from us at 34 km/sec. As they are at a distance of 2,300 light years, they appear scattered over an area of 38 arc minutes diameter (Kenneth Glyn Jones has the significantly smaller distance of only 1,600 light years).
The age of M41 was estimated at 190 million years (Sky Catalog 2000) and 240 million years (G. Meynet's Geneva Team). All sources agree that it is to be typized as of Trumpler class I,3,r. This stellar swarm is receding from us at 34 km/sec.
C.E. Barns mentions that M41 was "possibly" recorded by Aristotle about 325 B.C.; this would make it the "faintest object recorded in classical antiquity" (from Burnham). Hodierna was the first to catalog it before 1654, and it got generally known after Flamsteed's rediscovery of February 16, 1702.
The relatively bright star in the upper right (Southeastern) corner of our image is the 6th-mag star 12 Canis Majoris. According to the Sky Catalog 2000 (Vol. 1), this star is a blue giant of spectral type B7 III n, which is at roughly half the distance of the cluster (1,100 light years) and thus not a member. This star is also in the lower left of the DSSM image.
This cluster is easy to find, as it is nearly exactly south of Sirius, at an angular distance of 4 degrees.