M45, the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters. A splendid open star cluster with nebulosity. This cluster is visible with the naked eye high overhead during Winter months. It also harolds the arrival of Fall and harvest season with its appearance low in the NE sky after sunset. M45 is sometimes mistaken by observers as the Little Dipper due to its star formation appearance.

This image is a total of 5 hours using the Esprit 100 triplet refractor, QHY268C cooled cmos camera and Optolong L-pro filter.

M45 seven sisters
M45 star cluster and associated nebulosity. Also known as the Pleiades and the Seven Sisters.

The Seven Sisters M45 (Pleiades) is approximately 444 light years from Earth. Located in the north-west part of the constellation Taurus. The bright blue luminous stars are hot b-type and are middle-aged formed around 100 million years ago. The stars and the nebulosity are unrelated.

The stars are traveling through space and passing through a dust cloud in the interstellar medium. The light from the bright blue stars reflects off of the dust, giving us the appearance of a nebulosity surrounding the stars.


  • Skywatcher Esprit 100 triplet refractor F5.5 (550mm FL) http://bit.ly/36w1F7Y
  • QHY268C cooled cmos camera (26mp, 3.76um) https://bit.ly/37OeYS5
  • Optolong L-pro light pollution filter http://bit.ly/32a9Gfu
  • Skywatcher EQ6 mount / Skyshed Pier
  • NINA for acquistion. PHD2 for autoguiding
  • 60 x 5min exposures – 5 hours total data.
  • Imaged from my backyard in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
  • Processed in Pixinsight

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