The Beehive Cluster (M44)

Globulars or Open, clusters of stars can be neat viewing.
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Christopher K.
Posts: 5241
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

The Beehive Cluster (M44)

Post by Christopher K. »

At magnitude 3.8, this very nice cluster (rising in the Baton Rouge sky right now, and quite high tonight by 8:15pm) is a well-known showpiece in Cancer the Crab. It is easily visible with the unaided-eye in a dark sky. This object is also known as Praesepe which is Latin for "manger".

More information:
Year-Round Messier Marathon Field Guide by Harvard Pennington, p. 104-105
http://www.daviddarling.info/encycloped ... esepe.html

Christopher K.
Posts: 5241
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: The Beehive Cluster (M44)

Post by Christopher K. »

From 23 to 25 May both the Beehive and asteroid Vesta will be in the same seven-degree field-of-view, even with the Beehive centered...though one may have to off-center it to see Vesta easily.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5241
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: The Beehive Cluster (M44)

Post by Christopher K. »

As soon as night arrives (9:36pm CDT), placing the waxing crescent Moon into the lower left of the FOV of a 10x binocular will also place the Beehive in the upper right. We might have to take this conjunction on faith, though. NASA forecast a fifty-eight percent chance of rain at this time.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5241
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: The Beehive Cluster (M44)

Post by Christopher K. »

The Beehive Cluster will be culminating at 12:04am CST tomorrow. One may need a binocular or to use a legal pad or hand to block the moonlight for an unaided eye view. And what a night to go looking for it!

Christopher K.
Posts: 5241
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: The Beehive Cluster (M44)

Post by Christopher K. »

The Beehive Cluster is only one of the beautiful spring objects to be found in Baton Rouge's sky.

On Friday 5 April, BREC Education Curator Amy Brouillette will present "Wonders of the Spring Sky". This annual lecture highlights the main features and events of the Baton Rouge sky seen from April to June between end of twilight and midnight.

The lecture starts at 7:30pm, is aimed at a general adult audience and has no admission fee.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5241
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: The Beehive Cluster (M44)

Post by Christopher K. »

The Beehive Cluster will be a planned telescopic target at HRPO on Saturday 11 May from 9:30pm to 10:45pm. It will be setting but will remain above thirty degrees for the duration. (11 May is actually the next viewing date at HRPO.)

Christopher K.
Posts: 5241
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: The Beehive Cluster (M44)

Post by Christopher K. »

The transparent should be excellent tonight. The Beehive can be seen from 9pm to 12:30am. The Beehive's parent constellation Cancer is a faint wishbone shape; Leo is looking at it. The Beehive Cluster is right near the center of the wishbone (where the three "bones" meet).

More information:
http://www.messier.seds.org/m/m044.html

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