The Beehive Star Cluster - M44 Open cluster in Cancer

Uploaded 3/20/10

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 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. 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.

This cluster is also home to dozens of very faint galaxies, the brightest is the tiny edge on just below center - UGC4526, beaming dimly at 15th magnitude and only 1.4 arc minutes long. The faintest galaxies in this image seem to be around magnitude 18 or so.

Optics: 8" f/4 Newtonian Astrograph w/Baader MPCC Coma Corrector Platform: Astrophysics AP1200 Camera: Hutech Modified Canon XTi @ ISO800 Exposure: 6 x 5m = 30m Location: Payson, Arizona Elevation: 5150 ft. Sky: Seeing 4/10, Transparency 9/10 Outside Temperature: 35F Processing Tools: Photoshop CS2, Images Plus 3.82 HOME GALAXIES EMISSION NEBS REFLECTION NEBS COMETS GLOBULARS OPEN CLUST PLANETARIES LINKS