M44 (NGC 2632), aka Praesepe (manger)
Size: About 1.6 degrees
Distance: 577 light years
RA: 08h 40m 14.6s
Dec: 19 degrees 39' 22"
M44, also known as the Beehive
Cluster, is a large open star cluster
It is seen as a cloudy patch in dark skies, and was recognized
as far back as 260 BC. However, Galileo was the first to view
this object through a telescope, revealing its true nature as a star
cluster. M44 is reasonably mature as open star clusters go, being
about 700 million years old and containing several red giants in
addition to younger, hot blue stars. More information about M44
Date: February 27, 2005
Sky 90 at f4.5 with field flattener/focal reducer, on the G11 Losmandy
Mount. I made a circular rim out of PVC tubing which fitted over
the dew shield of the Sky90 and permitted placement of an elastic band
to form an "X". This created the star spikes shown above for the
brighter stars. A photograph of this device is shown here (this
be accomplished with kite string or fishing line).
Autoguider: SBIG STV with
Type II R, G, B, plus clear filter set.
Exposures: L:R:G:B. 5 x 3'
for Luminance (clear filter); R, G, and B (5 x 3' each), all unbinned.
Conditions: Temperature 23 degrees F; below average
transparency; below average seeing; a little breezy; high,
clouds passing through.
Post-processing: No darks,
flats, or bias frames used. Auto aligned
MaximDL; Sigma combined using RC Sigma Reject plug in, followed by DDP
in ImagesPlus (IP). Subsequent
levels and curves adjustments in Photoshop CS (16 bit format).
note: Graphics on this website
may not be reproduced without author permission.
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