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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: +1950'05"

 

All images and content remain the property of Jim Thommes - copyright 2003 - 2012

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