The Beehive Star Cluster

The Beehive open star cluster, also know as Messier 44, is one of the oldest open star clusters in the galaxy.  It was first discovered in 270 BC by astro-poet Aratus and in 1610 described in more detail by Galileo using his primitive telescope.  The cluster is about 500 light years from here and contains over 100 bright stars.  


Date: February 22, 2006
Location: Cupertino, CA
Scope: Takahashi FS102 @ 600mm
Guiding: Vixen 60mm refractor with SBIG ST-4
Mount: Losmandy G-11
Camera: SBIG ST2000XM
Filters: Custom Scientific in FLI CFW
Exposure details:
  Red filter 16 minutes
  Green filter 8 minutes
  Blue filter 8 minutes
Processing: MaximDL for calibration, alignment and combining.  
PSCS for final processing