Date: November 10th, 2021

Exposure: 38 x 3 minutes (1h 54min)

About This Image


Telescope: Sky-Watcher Equinox 120ED
Mount: Software Bisque Paramount MX
Camera: ZWO ASI2600MC-Pro
Filter: IDAS LPS-D3 2"
Accessories: ESATTO 2" Focuser • Sky-Watcher 0.85 Reducer
Guiding: SBIG ST-I Kit
Software: Photoshop • PixInsight • TheSkyX • Starkeeper Voyager • Topaz DeNoise


Messier 45, also known as the Pleiades, is one of the most stunning and fascinating objects in the night sky. Located in the constellation of Taurus, this open cluster is made up of hundreds of stars, and is estimated to be around 100 million years old. It is also relatively close to Earth, at a distance of around 440 light-years, making it easily visible to the naked eye. The cluster's most striking feature is its blue reflection nebula, which is created by the light of the brightest stars in the cluster reflecting off of dust and gas in the region. The nebula gives the cluster a distinct, ethereal glow, making it a favorite among stargazers and astrophotographers alike.

The Pleiades is also a relatively large cluster, spanning a distance of around 14 light-years. It is estimated to contain around 1,000 stars, although only a handful are visible to the naked eye. The cluster's brightest stars, known as the Seven Sisters, are named after the seven daughters of the Titan Atlas in Greek mythology. The sisters are easily recognizable, and have been a source of inspiration for countless cultures throughout history. From ancient civilizations who used the cluster to mark the changing of the seasons, to modern-day astronomers who continue to study its unique properties, the Pleiades remain one of the most captivating objects in the night sky.

Distance: 440 light-years
Size: 14 light-years

Annotated Version

Location in the Night Sky

(Annotation & Star Chart created using PixInsight)


All Images    Craig Sherris