September 21 - Crescent Moon Buzzes the Beehive

An illustration of the night sky on Wednesday (Sept. 21) showing the moon near Messier 44 (M44), the Beehive cluster. (Image credit: Starry Night Software)

The moon will pass by the constellation of Cancer in the early morning of September 21st.

The Beehive Cluster spans a width equivalent to three moons, and the waning crescent moon will be three degrees from it. Around ten degrees in the sky is how long your fist at arm is.

Though the moon is waning in its crescent phase, it is still bright and should be seen with the naked eye. The Beehive cluster can be seen to the naked eye with a magnitude of 3.8.

You can see what you can see tonight.

If you can see the moon in a location with a dark sky, you'll be able to see more of the stars in the swarm.

The closest open cluster to Earth is called the Beehive. One of the most populated examples is this one. A few thousand stars are thought to have formed in an open cluster.

The same chemical compositions, ages, and velocities are shared by all the stars in an open cluster. Single isolated stars are more difficult to study than clusters of stars.

The stars of the Beehive are roughly equal to a mass of 500 to 600 times that of the sun. The open cluster's biggest stars are in the center of it.

The Beehive Cluster in the constellation of Cancer.

The Beehive Cluster in the constellation of Cancer.  (Image credit: Fried Lauterbach/Wikimedia Commons)
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Around 60 percent of the stars in the Beehive cluster are red dwarfs, while 30 percent are main sequence stars. White dwarfs are stellar remnants that form when stars like the sun run out of hydrogen for nuclear fusion.

The Beehive is also home to many other people. There are two extrasolar planets in the cluster. Hot Jupiters are gas giants that pass close to their star.

The discovery of these worlds provided astronomer with the first evidence that planets can be found in dense stellar environments.

It's an important place in astronomy. It was first spotted by a telescope by Galileo in 1609. The Beehive was added to the catalog of stars by Charles Messier in 1769.

budding skywatchers will get to experience the thrill of observing the Beehive firsthand with the moon acting as an easy guide to find this cluster

If you're an avid skywatcher or just curious about skywatching, be sure to check out our guides for the best binoculars and telescopes to spot the moon, the Beehive cluster or anything else in the night sky. If you want to take the best moon pictures, you should check out our guide for photographing the moon, as well as our recommendations for the best cameras andlenses for Astrophotography.

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