Sunday, 25 May 2014

CLUSTER - M44 Beehive

Open cluster in Cancer 

quite bright at mag 3.7 and spanning about 100 arc minutes which is about three times the size of the Moon. It has 1000 stars, with the most massive concentrated towards the centre.

M44 - Beehive cluster

M44 - Beehive Cluster

Its distance has been calculated at 577 light years, meaning that the light you see in the pictures below left the cluster in 1436 and spent all this time travelling towards my camera. 

M44 - Beehive Cluster

The picture is a single 30s exposure on a Canon 7D through a 200mm Sigma APO, all mounted on a EQ5. The field is big - 7 degrees by 4 - and if you look carefully there are many small distant galaxies all around the cluster