Alt. Designations: NGC 2632, Praesepe
Object Type: Open Cluster
Constellation: Cancer
Distance: 0.577 kly
Right Ascension: 08h 40m 24.0s
Declination: +19° 40´ 00"
Visual Magnitude: 3.1
Apparent Dimension: 70.0´ Dia.
Best Month To View: Jan

Located in the constellation of Cancer is an impressive galactic cluster of stars known as M44. This famous cluster is also known as Praesepe, and more recently, the Beehive Cluster. The Beehive was given this name because to some it resembles a swarm of bees. It is one of the few deep-sky objects visible to the naked eye and has been known since ancient times. M44 consists of about 350 stars, 40 of which are bright enough to be seen in a small telescope. This cluster is about 577 light-years from Earth and is believed to be approximately 400 million years old.