Photo of the Week for May 12, 2017
Also 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.