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Enchanted Learning® Photoblog      Posted September 14, 2013   11:33 am

The Beehive Cluster and Mars
The Beehive Cluster and Mars

The Beehive Cluster (M44, NGC 2632), at the center of this photo, is about 600 light-years away. The starlight that we're seeing now left it in the 1400s!

The Beehive Cluster is visible in dark skies to the naked eye as a whitish patch, but telescopes reveal that it contains about 1000 stars. Before the individual stars were seen, it was known as Praesepe, the Manger.

The brightest "star" in the photo, at the bottom, a little left of center, is not a star at all—it's the planet Mars. In 2012, two planets were discovered orbiting Sun-like stars in the Beehive Cluster.

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Date taken: September 12, 2013
Place taken: Mercer Island, WA, USA
Mitchell Spector
Copyright ©2013 Enchanted Learning, LLC


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