M44 (NGC 2632)

Beehive Cluster

Typ:Open cluster
Distance:577 kLj
Brightness:3.7 mag
Position:RA:08h 40.4m DEC:+19° 59′
Max. height:59.98°, Jan. (midnight at +50°N)
Show in Stellarium
Discovered:Galileo Galilei, 1609
Details:Read more on Wikipedia

The open starcluster M44 in a distance of about 600 lightyears is one of the neares to earth. Consequently its stars seem much more dominant compared to the stars in the background.

Due to its brightness it was observed quite early. It was first mentioned by Ptolemy in second century.

M44 is the second brightest starcluster in Messier's catalog after the Plejades M45 and quite prominent in its area since there are no other bright stars.

The next image shows the full frame in a manual edit (580mm, ASI2600MM, LRGB 1h).