Astronomy Picture of the Day

Saturn in the Hive

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#83981 by @ 29.01.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
Saturn in the Hive


If you can
find Saturn in tonight's sky, then
you can also find href="">M44,
popularly known as the Beehive
star cluster.

In fact, with a pair of binoculars most casual skygazers should
find it fairly easy to zero in on this
celestial scene.

Saturn is at
opposition - opposite the Sun
in Earth's sky - so, the bright planet rises in the east at sunset
and is visible throughout the night.

Near the
stationary part of its wandering path through
the heavens, Saturn will obligingly linger for a while
in the vicinity of M44 in the relatively faint
constellation Cancer.

Seen here in a photograph from January 25, Saturn (lower right)
is strongly overexposed with the stars of M44 swarming above
and to the left.

The picture approximately corresponds to
the view when looking
through a typical pair of binoculars.

Saturn is
about 64 light-minutes from our fair planet
while M44, one of the closest star clusters, is around
600 light-years away.

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