M44 Beehive in Cancer
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Scope: Zenithstar 66 mm APO at f/4.7, Location: Blair Valley, Anza Borrego Desert, CA 15 April 2012 Camera: Artemis285
Exposure: 14 x 3 min (1x1 bin) exposure with UV/IR block, 8 x 2 min (2x2 bin) RGB exposures.
Processing: Images were captured with Artemis Capture (as FITs). Aligned/stacked and dark subtracted in Astroart with Sigma Combine. IR / UV Blocking filter and Color channels were scaled and color balanced in Astroart. Channels were co-registered in Astroart. Central gradient was removed in Astroart. Luminance channel consisted of the IR/UV blocking filter exposures. Curves and Levels applied in Photoshop to the Luminance channel to optimize star depth. Final LRGB combine was done in Photoshop. Final Image size is approximately 1800 x 1350.
North is up in this image. This cluster, M44 is an open cluster located in the constellation of Cancer. It is a well known cluster from ancient times with various names. We call t the beehive cluster. It is also known as the "Praesepe" (Latin for manger - apparently the Romans and Greeks saw a feeding trough in this cluster). This cluster age is estimated at a relatively young 730 million years; it is also estimated 577 light years distant from Earth. This image replaces an earlier image in the Archives here. Horizontal FOV is 100'
Image center is approximately - Equatorial 2000: RA: 08h 40m 23s Dec: +19°50'05"
All images and content remain the property of Jim Thommes - copyright 2003 - 2012
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