M44 RGB – Beehive Cluster

The Beehive Cluster (also known as Praesepe (Latin for “manger”), M44NGC 2632, or Cr 189), is an open cluster in the constellation Cancer. One of the nearest open clusters to Earth, it contains 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, and has been known since ancient times. . It was among the first objects that Galileo studied with his telescope.

Distance to M44 is often cited to be between 160 and 187 parsecs (520–610 light years), but the revised Hipparcos parallaxes (2009) for Praesepe members and the latest infrared color-magnitude diagram favors an analogous distance of 182 pc. There are better age estimates of around 600 million years (compared to about 625 million years for the Hyades). The diameter of the bright inner cluster core is about 7.0 parsecs (23 light years). [Wikipedia]

Technical data

  • Optics: Takahashi FSQ85ED
  • Camera: QSI 683 WSG-5
  • Mount: Sky-Watcher EQ-6 Pro
  • Filters: Astrodon Tru-Balance E-Series Gen 2 HaLRGB
  • Guiding system: Takahashi FSQ85ED, Lodestar Starlight Xpress
  • Accessories: USB_Focus v3 Robotic focuser
  • Acquisition: Voyager  ·  PS  ·  Pixinsight 1.8 . PHD2
  • Post-processing: Pixinsight – PS5
  • Dates: 2019-02-06
  • Exposure details: R-G-B ->(17×5):(17×5:(17×5)All Bin1 [num x minutes]
  • Bias/Dark /Flat: 99-15-15
  • Cooling Details: -20°C
  • SQM-L: 21
  • Integration: 4h 15′
  • Location: Observatory