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Friday, September 5, 2008

Messier 45, Pleiades

At last, another chance to try the Pleiades now that I have had much more practice. This image is comprised of 288 x 15 second JPEG frames, unguided, 1600 ASA, approximately 72 minutes of exposure! A personal record.

This cluster is number 45 on Charles Messier's list of nebulous objects. This beautiful cluster of stars was also mentioned by Homer around 750 B.C.. It has had many names, including Seven Sisters, Matariki (New Zealand), and Subaru (Japan). Comprised of hot blue stars formed over the last 100 million years, the brightest stars illuminate ancient dust collected from the original formation of stars giving it the bluish nebulosity.

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