M45, the Pleiades Star Cluster

A striking sight in the fall and winter skies, the Pleiades have enchanted stargazers ever since there were any to be enchanted. Its hot bluish stars reflect their light from the dust clouds in which they are immersed. These faint nebulae are only dimly visible in a telescope, but are not difficult to photograph.

This was made with my 92mm refractor. The image does not go deep enough to reveal a strange truth: the Pleiades reside in a hole in a surrounding very faint cloud, a situation which can be eerily glimpsed in a fine telescope on a very dark night.

Image copyright by Joe Bergeron.