Saturday, February 9, 2019

Nebulosity in the Pleiades?

The Pleiades, also known as the "Seven Sisters," and also as "Messier 45," is an open star cluster in the constellation Taurus.

It is naked eye visible and resembles a tiny "little dipper."

The cluster is dominated by young hot blue luminous stars, the brightest of which illuminate reflection nebula.

The Pleiades has nebulosity?  Who knew?

Whenever I took a peek at M45 through my widest field eyepiece, I could see the beautiful blue stars and maybe a hint of a blue glow between them, but no nebula . . .

I've seen photos from astrophotographers showing the nebula so I figured that it takes some serious equipment to capture it.

When I was out last weekend, I thought I'd try to capture an image with my modest gear.

I was amazed to watch as SharpCap integrated the frames from the ZWO ASI294MC.


Click to view full size

Hot Bright and Blue
This image was formed from 13 frames, each exposed for 8 seconds.  The imager's gain was set to 499.

I think I have a new favorite!


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