Open Cluster Reflection Nebula

The Pleiades – Messier 45


The Pleiades are an open cluster in the constellation Taurus.

The Pleiades are also known as the “Seven Sisters”. The Pleiades are not registered in the “New Global Catalog” and therefore they do not have a NGC number. But some of the reflection nebula inside the Pleiades are registered there.

The Pleiades are a cluster of at least 500 to 1000 stars [1] and is about 125 million [2] years old.

Part of the Pleiades are a couple of named stars:

  • Alione
  • Atlas
  • Electra
  • Maia
  • Merope
  • Taygeta
  • Pleione
  • Celaeno
  • Asterope
  • Sterope II

All these stars got that awesome blue color, indicating their hot temperature.

Pleiades – object names

Messier 45 Pleiades - Object names

The distance from our solarsystem to the Pleiades are 444 lightyears [2] and consists of about 500-1000 [1] stars.
Part of the Pleiades are several reflection nebulae. The two biggest are the Merope Nebula (NGC 1435) in a distance of 440 lightyears and the Maia Nebula (NGC 1432) in a distance of about 359 lightyears to Earth.

Pleiades – distance and appearance

Messier 45 Pleiades - Distances and apparent size

The Pleiades have got an apparent dimension of about 70 arc-minutes. The real size in diameter is about 35 lightyears. With these dimensions, the Pleiades are even larger on the nightsky than the Full Moon.

  1. Plejaden – Wikipedia[][]
  2. Pleiades – Wikipedia[][]

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