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


            Scott Davis
The Beehive Cluster (M44)
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The Beehive Cluster (M44)

Technical card

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

Imaging cameras: Canon EOS Rebel T3i

Mounts: Celestron CGEM Hypertuned

Guiding telescopes or lenses: Orion ShortTube 80

Guiding cameras: Orion StarShoot Autoguider

Software: Sequence Generator Pro  ·  DeepSkyStacker  ·  Photoshop CS6

Filters: One-Shot Color

Dates:Jan. 24, 2015

Frames:One-Shot Color: 45x60" (45') ISO800

Integration: 45'

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

Basic astrometry details

Astrometry.net job: 517278

RA center: 08h40m44s

DEC center: +19°4528

Pixel scale: 7.895 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: -2.155 degrees

Field radius: 3.953 degrees

Resolution: 620x413

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.


Sky plot

Sky plot


The Beehive Cluster (M44), 


            Scott Davis