Oh no…no…no…no…no…this can’t be…look! Space bees! They flew across vast galactic territories and humanity is about to get stung!
Okay. I’ll stop.
This is a classic image of the Beehive Cluster, an open cluster of stars, residing somewhere within the constellation of Cancer. This astronomical beehive is fairly easy to locate, especially under dark skies (apparent magnitude 3.7). Shining with a collective glow of at least a thousand suns—the Beehive Cluster is relatively young—especially compared to the sun. These cosmic bees are estimated to be only about 600 million years old….what? Don’t look at me like that! 600 million years is sure as shit pretty damn young…right?
Yes! Our sun is…what? 4. blah blah billion years old? Yeah. We heard it all before.
The image featured in this post was a test-shot, which was taken with a Orion 70mm Multi-Finder telescope. No Guiding. Little processing. What you see is what you get. Kind of. The photograph was converted to monochrome and the JPEG was dodged, screened, and a few other minor adjustments.
Are you ready to spy on a bunch of moody cosmic bees? Wait! Are you allergic? Don’t get too close. Just in case.
Yup. Cosmic bees. Swarming. As predicted.
The Beehive Cluster is a premium target for binoculars. A 10×50 binocular comfortably fits the cluster within the field of view and you’ll become awed by the Beehive Cluster’s shimmering brilliance. Trust me. My image failed to capture the true beauty of this open star cluster. I highly recommend seeing it with your own two eyes. You know. Outside. At night. In the real wold (I hate that show).
Sure sure: the Beehive Cluster may not be as trendy as the Pleiades, but hey? Guess what? The Pleiades don’t have any mother@#$%!%$ bees.
** Image Specifications **
- Telescope: Orion 70mm Multi-Finder
- Tracking: Unguided
- Exposure Time: 4 seconds
- ISO: 1600
- Objective Lens: 70mm
- Focal Ratio: f/3.9
- Focal Length: 279mm
- Mount: German Equatorial
Processing: Monochrome Conversion, Dodged, and Screened (layers)