M44 is an Open Cluster with the common name of The Beehive Cluster or Praesepe.  M44 lies a mere 577 Light-Years away in the constellation of Cancer. It is one of the nearest open clusters to the Solar System, and it contains a larger star population than most other nearby clusters.


Under dark skies the Beehive Cluster looks like a nebulous object to the naked eye; thus it has been known since ancient times. The classical astronomer Ptolemy called it "the nebulous mass in the breast of Cancer," and it was among the first objects that Galileo studied with his telescope.



M44 Beehive Cluster





How to find M44