Russell Croman Astrophotography  



The Pleaides and Interstellar Dust

About This Photograph

This familiar winter (for the northern hemisphere) star cluster is the Pleiades, also known as "Subaru" and "The Seven Sisters." The brightest seven members of the cluster – the sisters – are easily visible to the naked eye from most locations, with the brightest five resembling a miniature dipper. In total, the cluster consists of over 1,000 stars, all born within the last 100 million years or so from the same stellar nursery. The wisps of textured dust and gas that surround the brighter stars are not thought to be related to leftovers from the cluster's formation, but are simply interstellar clouds that the cluster is now passing through. The surrounding region is strewn with faint, reddish interstellar dust clouds, made visible by the collective light of our Milky Way galaxy. The portions of these clouds closer to the Pleiades shine with the reflected blue light of the hottest, brightest stars of the cluster.


Technical Details

Optics:Takahashi FSQ-106 EDX4
Mount:Paramount MX+
Filters:Chroma RGB
Dates/Times:1 November 2021 - 29 January 2022
Location:RC-Astro North Observatory at New Mexico Skies
Exposure Details:RGB = 19.75:20.25:19 hours (59 hours total), two-frame mosaic
Acquisition:MaxIm DL, ACP Expert
Processing:PixInsight, Photoshop