The Pleiades

72. The Pleiades


Messier 45  RA: 03h 47.4'  Dec: +24 07'   Taurus (Tau)

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The Pleiades (), also known as the Seven Sisters and Messier 45, are an open star cluster containing middle-aged, hot B-type stars located in the constellation of Taurus. It is among the star clusters nearest Earth and is the cluster most obvious to the naked eye in the night sky.

The cluster is dominated by hot blue and luminous stars that have formed within the last 100 million years. Reflection nebulae around the brightest stars were once thought to be left over material from the formation of the cluster, but are now considered likely to be an unrelated dust cloud in the interstellar medium through which the stars are currently passing.Computer simulations have shown that the Pleiades were probably formed from a compact configuration that resembled the Orion Nebula. 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.
 

Image Information

Location Fingal ON
Date Mar 13 2009
Optics Stellarvue SV102ED
Filters None
Mount Celestron CGE
Camera Canon Digital Rebel XT
ISO 800
Subexposures 10
Exposure Length 360sec
Guider SV NH2/ST-4
 

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All images copyright © 2006-2020, Rick Saunders
Main text descriptions sourced from Wikipaedia.
Sky position information is based on IP geolocation and is therefore approximate.