Daily Archives: December 15, 2014

Pleiades, M45


In astronomy, the Pleiades, or Seven Sisters (Messier 45 or M45), is an open star cluster containing middle-aged hot B-type stars located in the constellation of Taurus. It is among the nearest star clusters to Earth and is the cluster most obvious to the naked eye in the night sky. The celestial entity has several meanings in different cultures and traditions.

The cluster is dominated by hot blue and extremely luminous stars that have formed within the last 100 million years. Dust that forms a faint reflection nebulosity around the brightest stars was thought at first to be left over from the formation of the cluster (hence the alternate name Maia Nebula after the star Maia), but is now known to be an unrelated dust cloud in the interstellar medium, through which the stars are currently passing. Computer simulations have shown that the Pleiades was 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.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: William Optics GT102 102mm f/6.9 Apo Refractor
Imaging cameras: Canon 600D astromod
Guiding telescopes or lenses: William Optics 50mm Guidescope
Guiding cameras: Orion StarShoot Autoguider
Software: Adobe Photoshop deepsky stacker
Resolution: 2601×1732
Dates: Nov. 15, 2014
Frames: 10×600″
Integration: 1.7 hours
Avg. Moon age: 22.46 days
Avg. Moon phase: 46.67%
RA center: 56.736 degrees
DEC center: 24.130 degrees
Pixel scale: 3.040 arcsec/pixel
Orientation: 94.099 degrees
Field radius: 1.319 degrees

Author:  Cadby