M45- Pleiades

M45 - Pleiades

The Pleiades is an open cluster of stars surrounded by a faint blue reflection nebula at a distance of about 440 light years.   The cluster is also known as the Seven Sisters and Subaru (Japan) and is easily visible in winter months in the northern hemisphere in the constellation Taurus.

The reflection nebula is also known as the Maia Nebula and has been found to be unrelated to the cluster but rather an interstellar dust cloud through which the star cluster is passing.

More information about this cluster can be found at the Messier Index - M45 and at Wikipedia - M45.

The above image is an RGB color composite consisting of red, green and blue-filtered exposures of 40, 58, and 60 minutes, respectively.   The image was taken using a 4.3" William Optics FLT110 refractor on a Losmandy G11 mount and a SXV-H9 CCD camera on 29 December 2008.

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