Thebacha and Wood Buffalo Dark Sky Festival August 2017

Photo of the Week

Dusty Pleiades by Nigel Mayes

Dusty Pleiades by Nigel MayesAlso known as the Seven Sisters and catalogued as M45, the Pleiades cluster is unquestionably one of the finest deep-sky objects in the entire heavens. The Pleiades can be enjoyed with the naked eye or, even better, in binoculars. The finest view, though, is in a rich-field telescope capable of delivering a true field of two degrees or greater. Long-exposure photographs, such as the one presented above show the cluster stars enmeshed in a diaphanous cloud. This haze isn’t simply material left over from the formation the Pleiades, rather, it’s a patch of interstellar dust that the cluster happens to be moving through.

This richly detailed view of the Pleiades was captured by Nigel Mayes using the FSQ-106 f/5 refractor telescope and SBIG STT-8300 monochrome CCD camera of the Shawnigan Lake School Observatory, located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

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