M44 Beehive Cluster and Mars
Messier 44 (M44) or the Beehive Cluster (Praesepe Cluster) is a large, naked eye star cluster in the constellation Cancer and has an apparent visual magnitude of +3.7. At a distance of ~577 light years, it is one of the closest clusters to the Sun. The Beehive Cluster contains approximately 1000 stars is ~600 million year in age.
At the time this image was taken, the planet Mars was passing just north of the cluster.
- Object: Beehive Cluster and Mars
- Object Type: Open Star Cluster
- Other Names: M44, Praesepe, NGC 2632
- Date/Time: 2010 Apr 15 at 04:07 UTC
- Location: Bifrost Astronomical Observatory, Portal, AZ
- Telescope: Nikkor 180mm F/2.8 Lens
- Mount: Astro-Physics 1200GTO
- Camera: Nikon D300
- Exposure: 4 x 180s, f/2.8, ISO 800
- File Name: M44-01w.jpg
- Processing: Stack of 4 Images, Curves, Unsharp Mask (Photoshop CS5)
- Original Image Size: 2848 x 4288 pixels (12.2 MP); 9.5" x 14.3" @ 300 dpi
- Rights: Copyright 2011 by Fred Espenak. All Rights Reserved. See: Image Licensing.