Click here for a higher resolution image of The Pleiades (1.33 MB)

Click here for a full resolution image of the Merope region (0.95 MB)



The Details
M45 The Pleiades in Taurus
Astro-Physics 160 EDF Refractor at f/5.7
Astro-Physics 1200 GTO
Tru-Balance LRGB filter set
13 October 2007
Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, Yuma County - Southwestern Arizona
L 5 x 300 sec 1x1 bin; RGB 3 x 300 sec, 1x1 bin
Maxim DL/CCD, Registar, Photoshop CS2
Field of View: 01°51'43" x 01°27'07"centered on RA 01h51m43s
DEC+24°02’53” (2000.0) . North angle 91.03°; east 90° CCW from north

Messier 45, also known as the Pleiades or Seven Sisters, is a spectacular open cluster lying approximately 400 light years from Earth and consisting of up to 1000 stars. Surrounding its brighter stars is a dust cloud revealing itself as a beautiful blue reflection nebula, giving this object such great appeal among astro-imagers. Although the seven brightest stars of this asterism are naked eye objects under good sky conditions, the faint nebulosity surrounding them is only fully appreciated by photographic means. The brightest stars in the asterism are named for the Seven Sisters of Greek mythology and their parents, Pleione and Atlas. The names of the Seven Sisters are Alcyone, Merope, Electra, Maia, Caleano. Taygeta and Sterope. These young, hot blue stars are relative newcomers to the Milky Way, being forged in the gas and dust of interstellar space approximately 100 million years ago.




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