AstroPhotography by Dan Richey

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The Pleiades, or Seven Sisters is an open star cluster containing middle-aged hot B-type stars. It is among the nearest star clusters to Earth and is the cluster most obvious to the naked eye in the night sky. Pleiades has several meanings in different cultures and traditions. The cluster is dominated by hot blue and extremely luminous stars that have formed within the last 100 million years. Dust that forms a faint reflection nebulosity around the brightest stars was thought at first to be left over from the formation of the cluster (hence the alternate name Maia Nebula after the star Maia), but is now known to be an unrelated dust cloud in the interstellar medium that the stars are currently passing through. Astronomers estimate that the cluster will survive for about another 250 million years, after which it will disperse due to gravitational interactions with its galactic neighborhood.

Object Information

Name M45
Type Open Cluster with nebulosity
Constellation Taurus
Catalogue M45 / NGC 1432

Acquisition / Processing

Exposure L - 15 x 240 sec Bin 1
RG - 3 x 240 sec Bin 1
B - 6 x 240 sec Bin 1
Total - 1.80 Hr
Telescope AP 160 @ f7.7
Camera SBIG STL-11
Camera Temp -26ÂșC
Guiding SBIG Internal
Mount AP 900GTO
Filters Astrodon-Gen 1 LRGB
Processing CCDStack / PS CS3
Location San Pedro Creek, NM
Date November 27, 2010

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