Designation: M45 / NGC 1435
Distance: 440 light years
Object type: Open cluster / Reflection nebula
The Pleiades is an open cluster (a group of stars formed from the same cloud of gas and dust) located approx. 440 light years from Earth, in the constellation Taurus. It contains over three thousand stars (mostly hot B-type stars) although only the seven largest stars are visible to the naked eye due to the effects of light pollution. For this reason the cluster is also called “the Seven Sisters”.
The blue nebulosity is not directly associated to the star cluster, but it rather seems that the latter is passing through a particularly dusty region that reflects the light from the stars.
In Greek mythology, the Pleiads were the seven daughters of Atlas, a Titan who held up the sky, and the oceanid Pleione, protectress of sailing. The sisters were Maia, Electra, Alcyone, Taygete, Asterope, Celaeno and Merope. Read the full article here.
Mount: Sky-watcher HEQ5-Pro
Main Telescope: William Optics ZS73EDii
Main camera: ZWO ASI294MC-Pro
Main camera filter: Optolong L-Pro
Guidescope: Svbony SV165
Guide camera: ZWO ASI174MM
Guide camera filter: Astronomik UV/IR cut
Total integration time: 6 hours 30 minutes
Acquisition software: ZWO AsiAir
Processing software: PixInsight – GIMP