The Pleiades Star Cluster (M45) lies nearly 400 LY from Earth in the constellation of Taurus.  At an estimated age of
100 million years, it is an older cluster whose stars will disperse in the next 300 million years.  A reflection nebula by
nature, the gas and dust visible in this image shines by the reflected light of the bright stars in the vicinity.  This gas is
not the cloud from which these stars originally formed, but an unrelated gas cloud through which the cluster is passing.
The Pleiades contains an estimated 500 stars.  Known as the Seven Sisters to the Greeks, the brightest seven stars in
the cluster were used by some cultures as a test of eyesight.

January 5, 2010
WO 105mm f/7 Apo Refractor - AT Field Flattener
Canon Digital Rebel 500D / Modified (Hutech)
120 Minutes / 12x600s @ 1600ASA
Orion StarShoot AutoGuider
Skyhawk Observatory, West Bend, WI
Rick Kazmierski

Messier 45

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