Messier 44 (M 44) - Praesepe (Beehive)

Introduction | Map | Find/Identify | My Own Photos | My Own Observations | References

On this page I collect my observations of the open star cluster M 44 (Praesepe, Beehive) in the constellation Cancer/Crab.



Cancer/Crab belongs to the constellations that I do not really know. And I had not heard of the open star cluster M 44 before, which is called Praesepe, Crib or Beehive and impressive 70' large. It was relatively faint in my binoculars (Trinovid) - almost like a nebula, but small star dots were recognizable.

Since M 44 is located in the east and fairly low in February and was not visible from my terrace (at least , I thought so...). That is why I did not attempt to observe it on the first day of my winter observations in 2017 (Feb 13, 2017). More on this further below.

In the meantime, I have observed M 44 often, have seen it beautifully and, under good sky conditions, was even able to see it with my naked eyes.

Size: 70' (Stoyan)
Distance: 610 light years
Rating: ****



The open star cluster M 44 in constellation Cancer/Crab (the smaller open star cluster M 67 is near-by) (Image Courtesy of SkySafari Astronomy,



Find: The open star cluster M 44 is located roughly at the middle of the line connecting Regulus (Leo) and Pollux (Gemini) but a little bit below (or to the right of) the line:

Identify: If you find a large open star cluster this way, then it definitely is M 44! (Image Courtesy of SkySafari Astronomy,


My Own Photos



M 44 - Feb 24, 2020


M 44 - Mar 12, 2020


M 44 - Mar 18, 2020


M 44 - Mar 18, 2020, processed


My Own Observations

Observations February/March 2017

Observations End of March 2017

Observations May 2017

Observations March 2018

Observations May 2018

Observations February 2019 ff

Observations February to March 2020



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