Open Clusters

M45 The Pleiades


M45 - The Pleiades

Presented here is M45, the famous Pleiades Open Cluster of stars.  Image was captured in one imaging run on the night of 18th December 2019.  This image shows a small sub-section of The Pleiades, the “head”.  This main triangle shape of the bright stars Maia, Electra and Taygeta is visible to the naked eye. 

Known since ancient times from cultures all over the world and even featured in prehistoric cave paintings, The Pleiades is a large, open cluster of stars in Taurus, visible late autumn and winter in the Northern Hemisphere

The Pleiades are actually composed of hundreds of stars, about 470 light years away.  The cluster is vert young, about 20 million years, and is moving through a cloud of interstellar gas and dust.  At some point many millions of years in the future, the stars will lose their mutual gravitational attraction an d will slowly disperse and start life on their own, orbiting the centre of the galaxy.

M45 Close Up Annotated
M45 Inverted Version
M45 Close Up Inverted
Inverted version

Technical Information

T: TEC 140 refractor

M: MESU200

C: ATIK 460 with Astrodon RGB

Twelve exposures in each filter, three minutes in length.

Total Integration time of 108 minutes, binned 1×1.

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