Messier 45, also known as “The Pleiades” or the “Seven Sisters” is a star cluster which was known already from pre-historic times.

The cluster is easily visible in autumn and winter skies and at least 6 members are visible to the naked eye, while this number increases with better observing conditions.
This cluster actually contains over 500 (mostly faint) but hot blue stars and is one of the nearest star clusters at 440 light years.

The blue nebulosity around the stars is not related to the cluster itself but is merely a dust cloud through which these stars are passing.

Other versions

Previous/older images:

Nov 20, 2009 – Canon 350D (80mm TMB 5h57m)

Nov 03, 2008 – Canon 350D (80mm TMB 3h37m)

Image data

Object info
Name M45 – The Pleiades
Type Open cluster
Constellation Taurus
Right ascension 03h 47m 24s
Declination +24° 07′ 00″
Distance 440 ly
Other designations Melotte 22
Image info
Image date Oct. 22, 2011
Light frames 27x 10 min. UHC-S unbinned
Total integration 4h 30m
Dark frames 10x
Flat frames 10x p. filter unbinned, created with an A3 size Posterpoweruk flatfield panel
Bias frames 10x
Software used CCDOps, CCDSoft, ImagesPlus, Photoshop CS4
Processing CCDOPS was used for focussing. Image Acquisition was done using CCDSoft.
All separate frames were calibrated, aligned and stacked in MaxIm DL5 Pro.
Photoshop CS4 was used for further processing – curves adjustment, levels adjustment, etc.
Noel Carboni’s toolset was used as well (Local Contrast Enhancement, Deep Space Noise Reduction)
(L)RGB combine was done in Photoshop.
Equipment info
Telescope TMB/LOMO 80/480
Corrector Televue 2″ TRF 2008 flattener/reducer (FL: 384mm f/4.8)
Mount Losmandy G-11 Gemini
Camera SBIG ST-8300M
Guide camera Atik 1HS Mono
Guide scope Vixen VMC110L
Autoguide software PHD Guiding
Filters Baader 2″ UHC-S
Location Landgraaf, The Netherlands
Image comments