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April 11, 2010 April 27, 2010

Posted by orionrising in Observing.
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Photorealistic Image in Stellarium

Object: Praesepe (M44, aka “The Beehive Cluster”)

Site: Front Yard

Seeing: Average

Transparency: 3

Type: Open Cluster

Size: 1 degree 35′

Magnitude: 3.10

Constellation: Cancer

Magnification: 10x

FOV: 4.8 Degrees

Observing Time: 10:15 pm – 10:25 pm

Notes: While scanning the skies tonight, I found this amazing object in the direction of Leo’s gaze.  Praesepe (M44), in the heart of Cancer the Crab, a magnificent open cluster that looks fabulous through binoculars.  Mars joined the party with a magnitude 0.53 appearance, framed well by Asellus Borealis, Asellus Australis, n Cancer, and delta Cancer (all four are stars).  This will be very memorable as my first open cluster experience through binoculars. Praesepe is also called “The Beehive Cluster”, and there may be hints that this stellar gem has a common origin with the Hyades Cluster in Taurus the Bull [http://bit.ly/blwja8]. With a larger power/aperture telescope, even more stars will be visible. Altogether, an amazing experience.

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