M44 Beehive Cluster

The Beehive Cluster M44 is an open cluster in the constellation Cancer. It is one of the nearest open clusters to Earth, containing a larger population of stars than other nearby bright open clusters. Under dark skies, the Beehive Cluster looks like a small nebulous object to the naked eye; as known since ancient times.

Both clusters also contain red giants and white dwarfs, which represent later stages of stellar evolution.

Distance to M44 is often cited to be between 520–610 light years). There are better age estimates of around 600 million years, The diameter of the bright inner cluster core is about 23 light years.

  • Costellation: Cancer
  • AR: 08h 40m 8s – DEC: +19° 59′ 00″
  • Distance: 577 ly


Shooting  Details

  • Optics:                      Takahashi FSQ85ED
  • Mount:                      EQ6 Skywatcher
  • Camera:                    QSI 683 WSG-5
  • Accessories:             Lodestar, USB_Focus V3
  • Cooling:                    -20°C
  • Filters:                      Astrodon Tru-Balance E-Series Gen 2 HaLRGB
  • Exposure:                RGB bin1 300″x300″x300″ [17x17x17]
  • Flat-Dark-Bias:       15-19-201
  • Integration:             16.4 h
  • Date:                         February 6th, 2019
  • Location:                  Own remote observatory
  • SQM-L:                     21.10
  • Software:                 PHD2, Voyager, Pixinsight, PS
  • Note: