Also known as Praespe.
Open star cluster in the Constellation, visable with the naked eye as a fuzzy patch in the sky. This cluster was known to the ancient Greeks and Chinese. M44 is a good target for binoculars.
Located about 500 Light years away from earth, and approximately 400 million year old. There are around 200 stars in this cluster.
This photo is the "First Light" through my new William Optics FLT 110mm telescope. I have the new Lite version with a 2.5" focuser. Careful examination shows star elongation near the corners. I will need to get a flattener at some point. If you look closely, you can make out several small galaxy's lurking in the background.
Date: Feb 1, 2009 34 Deg F
Exposure: 5 x 6 minutes @ ISO 1600
Telescope: W/O FLT 110 @ f7
Camera: Canon XT modified by Hap Griffin
Mount: Celestron CGE, guided with PHD