TAWBAS star party

The Pleiades by Mike Bonin

Photo of the Week for January 2, 2015

The Pleiades by Mike BoninAlso known as M45, the Pleiades in Taurus are what you might call an “all-rounder.” The cluster is a tantalizing naked-eye sight, a stunner in binoculars, and as this wonderfully deep and detailed image by Mike Bonin illustrates, a great target for imagers. Even professional astronomers are keenly interested in the Pleiades as it represents a key to understanding stellar evolution. Surprisingly, the distance to this important group of stars is still in dispute. Recent studies now have the cluster lying 444 light-years away, instead of the 392 light years previously accepted.

Bonin captured this 120-minute exposure of the Pleiades with a modified Nikon D5100 camera attached to a Explore Scientific 102 mm apochromatic refractor telescope.

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