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Largest Image (1.1 meg)
M 45 is the open cluster of stars pictured above. The seven prominent stars give the cluster its nickname, "The Seven Sisters", or The Pleiades. In Greek mythology the Pleiades were seven sisters who were attendants of Artemis and had violet hair. M 45 has a large number of white dwarf stars. It is thought that 70% of the stars in this cluster are binaries. When M 45 was a few hundred thousand years old, it is believed to have looked similar to The Orion Nebula. A passing asteroid, 29 Amphitrite, was caught in this image at the three o'clock position (see full-sized crop below).
|Date:||14 & 18 september 2007|
|Distance:||400 light years|
|Equipment:||AP 130 with field flattener, STL11000, Mach1 GTO|
|Exposure:||RGB: 160--120--200 minutes Astrodons, unbinned|
29 Amphitrite (the series of colored dots) is 212 km in diameter.