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Jupiter and M44 the Beehive Cluster (Praesepe) in April 2015

8 Apr 2015, 16:48 UTC
Jupiter and M44 the Beehive Cluster (Praesepe) in April 2015
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Look high in the Southern skies (if you are in the Northern Hemisphere, look to the North if in the South) and you will see brilliant Jupiter shining brightly. To it’s left is the 1st magnitude star Regulus, which is the heart of Leo the Lion. If you draw a line from Regulus, through Jupiter you will arrive at The Beehive Star Cluster, in the constellation Cancer, the Crab. If you have decent vision, a dark, clear sky with good transparency you can see this cluster as a dim cloud.
Binoculars or a small telescope however will reveal a myriad of stars of varying colors and brightnesses. A large telescope isn’t really ideal on this object, I will however take a look using a wide angle eyepiece such as a WO 40mm SWAN 2″. But binoculars are the instrument of choice.
Here is a wide angle shot taken with a DSLR with a 35mm lens by Steve Coe, to give you an idea (Jupiter has moved to the East since this shot in March).
Next you can swing your binoculars over to the king of the planets, Jupiter. You may be able to pick out it’s 4 brightest moons. Through ...

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