Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_through_the-_eyepiece.thumb.jpg.cb85f690376dcb3053c747827de6bf9e.jpg

PhotoGav

M44 - The Beehive Cluster

Recommended Posts

Here is my rendition of M44, The Beehive Cluster in Cancer. It is an open cluster about 580 light years away from Earth, visible to the naked eye as a fuzzy patch. Galileo was the first to observe the cluster through a telescope in 1609 and resolved around 40 stars. Messier added the fuzzy patch not to be confused as a comet to his catalogue as the 44th entry in 1769. The ancient Greeks and Romans saw the cluster as the manger from which two asses, the stars Asellus Borealis and Asellus Australis, are eating, hence it's alternative name 'Praesepe', Latin for manger. The ancient Chinese astronomers saw the cluster as a ghost riding in a carriage and likened its appearance to a cloud of pollen blown from willows! The cluster's age and proper motion match the nearby Hyades, suggesting that the two clusters share a similar origin. Strangely, I very much see the Hyades in The Beehive, with the familiar 'V' shape very obvious in the centre of the cluster.

 

M44-LRGB-10-Flat.thumb.png.a18926b093e5a9ee268ac33e870f8f07.png

 

Technical Details:

William Optics Star 71, QSI 683-WSG8 with Baader 1.25" filters, HEQ5 mount.

L = 63 x 300s
R = 50 x 300s
G = 48 x 300s
B = 48 x 300s
TOTAL = 17 hours 25 minutes

This image should really be all about the star colour, with the multitude of hot blue stars contrasting with the few red giants. However, my data doesn't create the very red stars in the brightest area of the cluster that I have often seen in other images of the Beehive. Yet, there are plenty of very red stars in my image, so I have remained faithful to my data and haven't tried to push it in directions that, as far as I am concerned, aren't there! I think that this is as good as my sky conditions will give me. The image was fairly rife with gradients as the skies have been farily patchy during the data acquisition. What I do like about the image are the few faint fuzzies that are lurking in amongst the cluster. I can see at least three!

I await to hear what you all think of it and wish you clear skies...

 

  • Like 15

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, lovely and well processed image. :happy5:

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you caught the colours very nicely - a most natural looking image

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your positive comments Chris, Artem, Mikey and Demonperformer, they are very much appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a real beauty :thumbsup: It's nice to see someone doing clusters.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love the image, but need to ask a stupid question.

There seems to be a lot of time invested in this image (total 17:25). Any particular reason for this given that object in the image is open star cluster?

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mr Spock said:

That's a real beauty :thumbsup: It's nice to see someone doing clusters.

Thank you Michael. I’ve been doing a lot more visual astronomy recently and clusters feature ever more and more! Glad you like it and my next target is M67, another open cluster just south of M44.

55 minutes ago, vlaiv said:

Love the image, but need to ask a stupid question.

There seems to be a lot of time invested in this image (total 17:25). Any particular reason for this given that object in the image is open star cluster?

Thank you Vlaiv. Not a stupid question at all (I always say, the only stupid question is the one you don’t ask!). I was a bit surprised by the total time when I worked it out, it was probably more than I originally intended. However, any image only benefits from more and more data. Sure, there is a point when it is barely perceptible, but the more the better. I just kept on opening the observatory and gathering more Beehive photons! The other great thing with more data is that it is definitely easier to process.

15 minutes ago, fireballxl5 said:

Very nice image! I see at least 8 faint fuzzies!

Good job! You’ve set me a target now, I was up to about five or six!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, StargeezerTim said:

Very nice image and terrific write up...

Thank you Tim.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, PhotoGav said:

I was a bit surprised by the total time when I worked it out, it was probably more than I originally intended. However, any image only benefits from more and more data. Sure, there is a point when it is barely perceptible, but the more the better. I just kept on opening the observatory and gathering more Beehive photons! The other great thing with more data is that it is definitely easier to process.

And don't forget the faint fuzzies that would probably have not been so evident with a shorter integrated time.

Personally, I think that both options have a lot to commend them. Sometimes, a shorter time will bring out the 'cluster' nature better. Not so much with M44, but there are some clusters that I feel tend to get 'lost' when the image becomes too busy with a lot of fainter stuff - just my opinion. NOT that I am saying this has happened here, where the cluster stars benefit (I think) from the background objects.

Thanks.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very true Demonperformer, the increased Luminance has undoubtedly helped with those faint fuzzies. I was researching the ones I could see in the image yesterday evening and most are around 200 to 400 million light years away, but there are a few that are 1 or 2 billion light years away!! I think that is a new PB for most distant object imaged. I must try and do an annotated version. I loaded it into astrometry, but it didn’t identify many at all. It will have to be a manual effort. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.