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.

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