Astronomy Picture of the Day



M45: The Pleiades Star Cluster

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#83373 by @ 10.01.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
M45: The Pleiades Star Cluster


Explanation:
Perhaps the most famous star cluster on the sky, the
Pleiades
can be seen without binoculars from even the depths of a
light-polluted city.

Also known as the Seven Sisters and
M45,
the Pleiades
is one of the brightest and closest
open clusters.

The Pleiades
contains over 3000 stars, is about 400 light years away,
and only 13 light years across.

Quite evident in the
above
photograph
are the blue reflection nebulae
that surround the brighter cluster
stars.

Low mass, faint, brown dwarfs have also
been found in
the
Pleiades
.

(Editors' note: The prominent
diffraction spikes are caused by the telescope itself and may be either distracting or provide aesthetic enhancement, depending on your point of view.)




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