The Daughters of Pleione

 

Many a night I saw the Pleiades
Rising through the mellow shade,
glitter like a swarm of fireflies tangled in a silver braid

Alfred Lord Tennyson

 

The nine brightest stars of the Pleiades are named for the Seven Sisters of Greek mythology: Sterope, Merope, Electra, Maia, Taygeta, Celaeno, and Alcyone, along with their father Atlas and mother Pleione.
The Pleiades are a prominent winter star cluster in the Northern Hemisphere, and in summer in the Southern Hemisphere, and is also known as M45. It is among the nearest to the Earth of all open clusters, probably the best known and certainly the most striking to the naked eye.
The cluster is dominated by hot blue stars, which have formed within the last 100 million years. Dust that forms 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 that the stars are currently passing through.
Astronomers estimate that the cluster will survive for about another 250 million years, when it will have dispersed due to gravitational interactions with the spiral arms of the galaxy and giant molecular clouds.
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Canon 7D
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L mounted on Celestron CPC 925
ISO 3200
f/2.8
Focal Length 200mm
Stacked Image – 40 x 15sec using Deep Sky Stacker

 


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