M 45 (Pleiades, Matariki)
The Pleiades is an open star cluster in the constellation Taurus. It is one of the closest star clusters to Earth and is easily visible from around the globe.
Credit: NASA, ESA and AURA/Caltech
Facts About M 45 (Pleiades, Matariki):
- One of the nearest star clusters.
- One of the oldest-recognised and culturally significant groups of stars.
- Up to 14 stars are visible to the naked eye. The clusters contains over 1000 stars in total, including many brown dwarfs.
- The cluster core is between 16 - 30 ly wide.
- Dominated by hot, bright, blue stars that have formed within the last 100 million years.
- Being so close to use makes this very important to astronomy. Many assumptions about the wider Universe are based on measurements of Pleiades.
- Nebolisity is due to an interstellar dust cloud that the stars are currently passing through.
- Thousands of years in the future it will pass below the feet of Orion.
- The cluster should survive for about another 250 million years, after which it will disperse due to gravitational interactions with its galactic neighborhood.
Classification: Open Cluster
Names: Pleiades, Matariki, Seven Sisters, Subaru, Melotte 22Constellation: Taurus
Distance: 4.07e+15 km (430 ly)
Magnitude: 1.6000 (app)
Credit: NASA, ESA, AURA/Caltech, Palomar Observatory