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Posted 03/25/08 - M44 The Beehive Cluster

The forecast was for a clear night with below average seeing, rain for the remainder of the week, and the moon climbing over my horizon at around 10:30PM so I decided to pick a bright target that I could get adequate luminance and color frames for in one night. I also wanted it to be a wide field refractor shot to minimize the seeing issues. Hence, M44! This open cluster is visible with the naked eye from my backyard and has been one of my favorite binocular targets since I've been observing. I tried adding spikes with Noel's Tools but didn't like them for this image so I left them out. Speaking of spikes, here's what the center of the raw LUM channel looked like. I debloomed manually.