The Dog Star and the Little Beehive Cluster

on Sunday, March 1, 2020
Here is a wide-field view of the star Sirius and the open cluster Messier 41 (M41), just squeezing them both in the field of view using the Williams Optics Redcat and Canon 6D camera. Sirius, Alpha Canis Majoris, is also known as the Dog Star, Nile Star, The Sparkling One and many others. At a distance of 8.7 light years, Sirius is the 10th nearest star to Earth.

Located 4-degrees south of Sirius is the open cluster Messier 41 (M41). M41 has an apparent magnitude of 4.5 and is about 2,300 light years from Earth. M41 is also referred to as the Little Beehive Cluster, but I can’t find the exact reference. M41 was mentioned by Aristotle about 325 B.C. as one of the mysterious “cloudy spots” then known in the sky. (REF: Robert Burnham Jr., Burnham’s Celestial Handbook, 1978).

Tech Specs: Williams Optic Redcat 51, iOptron ZEQ25 mount, Canon 6D, unguided, 10 x 60 second exposures, ISO 3200. Captured using BYE, processed in ImagesPlus. Image date: February 14, 2020. Location: The Dark Side Observatory, Weatherly, PA, USA.
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