Sunday, September 25, 2011
M45, Pleiades cluster
The Pleiades. The cluster is also called The Seven Sisters, where the sisters are seven of the brightest stars in the cluster. The two bright stars to the left in the cluster are the parents, Atlas and Pleione, hence also the more common name Pleiades (the children of Pleione). The seven sisters are Alcyone, Merope, Electra, Maia, Celaeno, Taygeta and Asterope (Messier45.com)
Several Pleiads appear surrounded by intricate blue filaments of light. This nebulosity is the result of starlight scattering (reflecting) off minute grains of interstellar dust in the vicinity. The dust particles are inside a cloud of mostly hydrogen gas that the cluster seems to be plowing into (Steven Gibson, www.naic.edu/~gibson/pleiades/)
This was a 20 minute exposure, guided and captured in the early morning of September 25, 2011 from Zodiac Ranch in Fort Davis, TX.
The sky was perfectly still with excellent transparency and great seeing.