Pleiades – M45

The Pleiades M45 is an open star cluster containing middle-aged hot stars located in the constellation of Taurus. It is among the nearest star clusters to Earth and is the cluster most obvious to the naked eye in the night sky. It is dominated by hot blue and extremely luminous stars that have formed within the last 100 million years. Dust that forms a faint reflection nebulosity around the brightest stars was thought at first to be left over from the formation of the cluster , but is now known to be an unrelated dust cloud in the interstellar medium, through which the stars are currently passing.

Processing this LRGB image was tough and I am not happy with the outcome. The luminance data suffers from some internal reflections that create random diffraction spikes for the bright stars – I could not get rid of them completely. Getting out the nebulosity without bloating the stars too much was also a challenge. I will reprocess this data at some point, for sure.


Exposure: LRGB, (31,16,16,16) x 600sec Date: 2015-11-12…21
Setup: Takahashi FSQ106 EDXIII with QSI 683WSG-8 Site: Deep Sky West Observatory, NM, USA

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