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

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