M 44 – NGC 2632 + Saturn

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M44 is a very rich and close open cluster (just below 600 ly). It contains more than 1000 stars with an average star mass of about 0.5 Suns. Correspondingly, 70% of them are M dwarfs, less than 2% are blue A stars and the remaining are sunlike G stars. The picture also shows Saturn in one of its unsually close passage across (only optically speaking, of course…) the southern tip of the cluster. The next three passages of Saturn over this area will miss M44 by at least 3 degrees (2035, 2064 and 2094).

Additional Information


Name(s): M44, NGC 2632, The Beehive Cluster, Praesepe

Type: Open Cluster

RA:  08h 40m 23s

Dec: +19º 39’ 59”

Constellation: Cancer

Size (arcmin): 70×70

Magnitude: 3.1

Distance: 600


Date: 2006-06-03

Location: Corbera de Llobregat, Barcelona, Catalonia

Size (arcmin): 190×130

Telescope: Nikkor 500mm f/8

Camera: Nikon D70 (3008x2000pix)

Guiding: SBIG ST4/Nikkor 200mm f/4

Total exposure: 10 min (color: 10min)

Processing: PixInsight

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