M44, also known as “Praesepe” or the “Beehive Cluster” (other designations: NGC 2632, Cr 189) is a well known open star cluster which can be quite easily observed with the naked eye in the center of the constellation Cancer.
The most suitable time for observing this cluster in northern latitudes is between February and May.

This cluster is one of the nearest open clusters in relation to our own Solar system and lies at a distance of 577 light years.
The age of the cluster is estimated at about 730 million years.

Previous/older images:

Feb 08, 2008 – Canon 350D (80mm TMB-1h)

Image data

Name M44 – Praesepe
Type Open cluster
Constellation Cancer
Right ascension 08h 40m 24s
Declination +19° 41′ 00″
Distance 577 ly
Other designations NGC2632, Cr189