M45, The Pleiades – Nymphs in the night sky

Andrei Bacila
Location of photo
Near Arad, Romania
Date/Time of photo
Decemnber 29-30 2016
SkyWatcher ED80 telescope with 0.8x FR, AZ-EQ6 GT mount, Atik 460ex mono camera with 1.25" Baader filters
The Pleiades (also known as the Seven Sisters) is an open star cluster in the constellation of Taurus and is the most visible cluster to the naked eye in the night sky. Located at about 400 light years from Earth is one of the nearest star cluster. Being so close to Earth, the distance to the cluster can be measured with a high degree of accuracy (in astronomical terms) and so it is used to calibrate the cosmic distance ladder (one method used by astronomers to determine the distance between celestial objects). The name of the cluster is said to come from Greek mythology, representing the seven nymph companions of Artemis, the daughters of the titan Atlas with the sea-nymph Pleione. In reality, most likely the name of the star cluster came first and the mythological part came later to explain it. This composition was shot through the course of two nights, cumulating a total integration time of ~10.5 hours. It's an LRGB composition shot through my usual equipment and processed in PixInsight (the processing part was a real pain because during the acquisition nights the sky had a light haze that generated some halos around the stars).
Astronomy Pictures: Sky & Telescope's Online Gallery, Nebula & Galaxy Pictures

About Andrei Bacila

I'm a Romanian astrophotographer. I live in Timisoara, Romania and shoot my astrophotographs from a moderately light polluted site in the countryside. I started doing astrophotography at the beginning of 2015 and I've been enjoying it ever since. I started with DSLR camera but later moved to a dedicated cooled CCD. My current setup consists of a SkyWatcher ED80 refractor with a 0.8x FR/FF that sits on a AZ-EQ6 GT mount. The camera I'm currently using is an Atik 460ex mono coupled with a EFW2 filter-wheel and 1.25" filters. I enjoy shooting RGB compositions but due to my location this can sometimes be difficult. Whenever my time allows it I try to travel to a less light polluted site to get better captures.
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