The Pleiades

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Obj Type
Date Taken:
Messier 45
Star cluster
Mayhill, NM

The Pleiades or Seven Sisters were known pre-historically and mentioned by Hesiod between 1000 and 700 B.C.  This star cluster with extensive nebulosity is certainly one of the finest naked eye objects in the night sky.  At least 6 member stars are visible to the naked eye, while under moderate conditions the number increases to 9, and under clear dark skies jumps to more than a dozen (Vehrenberg, in his Atlas of Deep Sky Splendors, mentions that in1579, well before the invention of the telescope, astronomer Moestlim has correctly drawn 11 Pleiadea stars, while kepler quotes observations of up to 14).

Processing Notes:  This was an early SSRO image by Jack and Rick.  We tried an experiment by using an additional blue channel as our luminence.  To see the full field image click here.  This image data was also used as part of John's outstanding comet Machholz image.  The spikes on the bright stars were achieved by taping string crosswires over the FSQ dewcap at 45 degree angles to the camera axes.

Technical Details
Exposure Time:
BRGB (60, 90, 90, 90 minutes) with B used as L and binned 1x1
Takahashi FSQ106N
Software Bisque Paramount ME
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Used with permission, No reproduction of these images are permitted without written approval from SSRO.