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Contains:  Praesepe, M 44, Beehive cluster, NGC 2632, The star Asellus Australis (δCnc), The star Asellus Borealis (γCnc), The star ηCnc, The star θCnc, Part of the constellation Cancer (Cnc)
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The Beehive Cluster (M44), 


            Scott Davis
The Beehive Cluster (M44)

The Beehive Cluster (M44)

Technical card

Resolution: 3000x1997

Dates:Jan. 24, 2015

Frames:One-Shot Color: 45x60" ISO800

Integration: 0.8 hours

Darks: ~9

Flats: ~40

Flat darks: ~40

Bias: ~40

Avg. Moon age: 4.49 days

Avg. Moon phase: 21.13%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 2.00 job: 517278

RA center: 8h 40' 44"

DEC center: +19° 45' 28"

Pixel scale: 7.895 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: -2.155 degrees

Field radius: 3.953

Locations: Big Stump, Kings Canyon National Park, CA, United States


Open Cluster M44, known as the Beehive Cluster, is a beautiful, large open cluster in the constellation Cancer. It is one of the closest clusters, at a distance of just 577 light years. Because of its size and brightness, it has been known since ancient times.

This is one of my favorite objects, because it is the first Messier object that I "discovered" for myself during a star party. As I was just gazing upwards, I noticed a fuzzy object in the sky, and used my iPad to confirm that it was, indeed, a deep sky object.



Scott Davis
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

Sky plot

Sky plot


The Beehive Cluster (M44), 


            Scott Davis