M44 - Central "V" Asterism
Splashy Open Cluster in Cancer
Optics: 12.5" f/5 Newtonian - Lumicon Coma Corrector
Platform: Astrophysics AP1200
Camera: Hutech Modified Canon XTi @ ISO800
Exposure: 3 x 5m
Location: Payson, Arizona
Elevation: 5150 ft.
Sky: Seeing 8/10, Transparency 8/10
Outside Temperature: 35F
Processing Tools: Photoshop CS2, Images Plus 3.82
HOME GALAXIES EMISSION NEBS REFLECTION NEBS COMETS
GLOBULARS OPEN CLUST PLANETARIES LINKS
two images represent the central third or so of the large splashy
open cluster in Cancer known as the "Bee Hive Cluster".
Gold and blue super sized suns rule this central region, with
a background of half a dozen faint background galaxies, which
offer a rich visual challenge for owners of large amateur telescopes.
The left panel here is the unlabeled image, with the background
set normally. On the right is a slightly lighter version, with
the brightest (i.e. 15th magnitude) galaxies circled in red,
with the visual magnitudes listed below them. They range in brightness
from 15.6 to 17.5 and are a super challenge for scopes of at
least 12 inches in aperture visually. The additional galaxies
Ive circled in green were not in the Megastar data base, but
are in the range of 18th and 19th magnitude.
One of the
closest open star clusters to Earth, this large and splashy assemblage
of stars hosts over 50 cluster members with an integrated magnitude
of 3.1. With a size of over 95 arc minutes, it fits nicely within
this 1.5 degree field of view seen on this page
with my 8" Astrograph. Consisting of mostly blue super giants,
the cluster is also home to dozens of K type orange giants as
well - one forming the tip of the prominent V shaped asterism
in the clusters center.