M 45  -  Plejades

Full resolution (1600x1200 px  570kB)

150% resolution (980kB)

DSLR wide field image

Object data of M45

Object type: open star cluster (I3r) with reflection nebula
Size: 110'
Magnitude: 1.6 mag
Constellation: Tau
Distance: 440 Ly
Notes: The Pleiades nebulae are blue-colored, which indicates that they are reflection nebulae, reflecting the light of the bright stars situated near (or within) them. Physically, the reflection nebula is probably part of the dust in a molecular cloud, unrelated to the Pleiades cluster, which happens to cross the cluster's way. It is not a remainder of the nebula from which the cluster once formed.

One can find many different catalogue entries for the reflection nebulae:

  • NGC1432, NGC1435
  • IC1990
  • vdB20, vdB22, vdB23
  • Ced19

Many background galaxies are visible behind the Plejades, as can be seen more clearly in the top left quarter of the 150% resolution image. Maybe these galaxies are members of the galaxy cluster Zwicky 905.

Exposure data

Date: 2009-11-19
Location: Nussbach / Austria (400m)
Telescope: TeleVue NP101 (4" Apo f=540mm)
Camera: ST2000XM with CFW8 and Baader Filters
Binning: L 1x1 / RGB 1x1
Exposure time: L 24x2m / R 6x5m / G 6x5m / B 6x5m
Exposure time total: 2h 18m