Uploaded 16-Aug-08
Taken 18-Sep-11
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Photo Info

Dimensions1600 x 1119
Original file size1.7 MB
Image typeJPEG
Color spacesRGB
Date modified18-Sep-11 13:16
M45 Pleiades (Seven Sisters)

M45 Pleiades (Seven Sisters)

Canon 350D, ED80, EQ6, guided with C11, DSI Pro I
10 x 300 seconds @ 800 ISO
Total Exposure: 50 minutes

In astronomy, the Pleiades (pron.: /ˈpl.ədz/ or /ˈplədz/), or Seven Sisters (Messier object 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 name Pleiades comes from Greek mythology; it 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 that the stars are currently passing through. 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 neighbourhood. (from Wikipedia)