M44, the Beehive Cluster

About image

The Beehive Cluster, also known as Praesepe (Latin for "manger") or M44, is an open cluster in the constellation Cancer. 

It is one of the nearest open clusters to Earth and it is so much bright (visual magnitude 3.7) that under dark skies looks like a small nebulous object to the naked eye: for this reason it has been known since ancient times. 

It has an apparent dimension of 95’, so it covers an apparent area in the sky three times larger than the full moon. Its estimated distance is about 610 light years.

Technical data
Optic          TS Optics 76 EDPH - Aperture 76mm, focal lenght 342mm, f/4.5
Mount        Skywatcher EQ6R
Camera         ZWO ASI 294MM Pro with external filter wheel 7 positions
Filters         Antlia 36mm RGB
Guiding system    Artesky Ultraguide 32mm
Exposure details     R 27x120" bin2 -25C
                                    G 31x120" bin2 -25C
                                    B 32x120" bin2 -25C

          Gain 120, 

Total integration  3h
Acquisition      Voyager, PHD2
Processing      Pixinsight 1.8, Photoshop CS5
SQM-L       21.2    
Location       Promiod (Aosta Valley, Italy)
Date           5/7 November 2021, 26/27 February 2022

© Roberto Marinoni 2019 - All rights reserved