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Beehive Cluster

Utah State Star Cluster

Beehive cluster photo by NASA / IPAC/Caltech (Public Domain - US Gov).

Official State Star Cluster of Utah

Utah designated the Beehive cluster as an official state symbol in 1996 (Utah also recognizes a state star: Dubhe). All Astronomy Symbols

The beehive is also the official emblem of Utah and appears on the state seal and state flag. A fact sheet about the bill stated:

"This symbol, composed of a hive of stars, transposes our beehive symbol to a new and grand level as we enter our second century as a group of people living in a place where we can still see, with our own eyes, the beautiful and dim features of the starry universe."

Visible to the naked eye as a small cloud in the constellation of Cancer, the Beehive is a very large and bright open cluster of stars. The beehive cluster was known as Praesepe in ancient times and is referred to as M44 (Messier object 44) by modern stargazers.