The Beehive Cluster,
M44, an open cluster in Cancer Comments
A map of the star field. Magnitudes are given without
a decimal point, e.g. 67 is to be interpreted as magnitude 6.7.
How to Find It
If you're in a dark-sky area, you can just find the center of Cancer directly. From a light-polluted location, the stars of Cancer may be invisible. In this case, try starting from the head of Hydra, moving through a dim T-shaped asterism (not shown on the map) and on to the center of Cancer.
The Beehive cluster is one of the most enjoyable objects to view through binoculars. The symmetric shape and the similarity in brightness of the most prominent stars are especially pleasing. A sure thing, even under poor conditions.
60-degree field of view
Data (Janes, Duke, and Lynga, 1987) RA 08 40 dec +19 59 total V magnitude 3.1 NGC number 2632 Trumpler class II 3 m angular diameter 70' distance 158 pc age (Myr) 830 integrated B-V .36 observed stars 161 earliest sp. class A0 brightest star 6.0
(c) Copyright 1998 Benjamin Crowell. All right reserved.
Photos from the Digitized Sky Survey, stdatu.stsci.edu/dss/dss_form.html
Sky maps created by Your Sky, www.fourmilab.com