The Pleiades, M45, Taurus

Also known as "The Seven Sisters" and by other names in various cultures, it is a prominent asterism in the Summer skies in the Southern Hemisphere and contains over 1000 identified members, but the number is likely to be higher due to unresolved binaries. The number of stars visible to the naked eye depends on the observer's visual acuity; the youngest eyes can often see 14 or 15 members, while older eyes may struggle to see more than six. 

Lying at an average distance of 440 ly, the cluster is passing through "cosmic cirrus" (abundant in this region of the galaxy and visible in the image) which is reflecting the light of the young hot blue stars creating the structured reflection nebula that is the cluster's hallmark.


Camera: SBIG STL11000M, Astrodon filters Scope: Takahashi FS-128, f=1000mm, f7.8 (fov 2.1 x 1.4)
Mount: Intes-Micro Alter 6 Guiding: internal
Filters/Exposures: R:G:B = 20:20:35 = 1h15m Location: The ASV's LMDSS, Lady's Pass, Victoria, Australia
Dates: October 2010 Processing: CCDStack, Mira AL8 and Photoshop