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M44 (Beehive Cluster) in Cancer




Scope: Zenithstar 66 mm APO at f/4.4; Location: Blair Valley, Anza Borrego Park, CA;  16 April, 2009; Camera: Canon XT 350D (Baader ACF modified)

Exposure: 16 x 5 min  (no filters) ISO 800, 8 Darks, no Flats 

Processing: Images were captured with DSLR Focus  and saved as RAW file format. Images were decoded and dark corrected in IRIS. Images were aligned and stacked in IRIS with Sigma Median.  Dark point equalization and rough color balance  were done in IRIS. Gamma adjustments also done in Iris. Gradient removal was done in IRIS. The exposure stack was saved as Tiff.  Final stretching and touch up was done in PhotoShop. Star repair was made in Photoshop on edge stars.  Saturation was increased on the final image since the colors looked somewhat muted.  Final Image size is approximately 2400x1599.

North is up in this image.  This image is guided.  This is an image of M44 in the constellation of Cancer. Also known as the Beehive Cluster as well as the Praesepe, M44 is a relatively close star cluster - about 577 light years distant from Earth. It's age is estimated at 730 million years.  The Horizontal FOV is about 4 deg, 8 min.

Image Center is approximately - Equatorial 2000: RA: 08h 40m 31s Dec: +1941'43"

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

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