|Pleiades Cluster - M45 DSLR
The M45 Pleiades Cluster in Taurus contains 100 stars spread across a sphere 14 light-years wide at a distance of 400 light years. Termed the "Seven Sisters" in mythology, at least seven
of the stars can be seen with the naked eye making a small dipper shape. Binoculars will reveal a splash of dozens of brilliant blue-white stars. A telescope can show faint nebulosity of
interstellar dust, that appears blue in this image. The nebulosity represents the remnant of the dust and gas cloud from which these young stars were born.
Imaging this object is a challenge with most CCD cameras, because the stars are so bright compared to the surrounding nebula. Most DSLRs have internal software to suppress glare, that
helps to suppress bright stars. The image above, obtained with a Hutech-modified Canon 6D through a 12" Astro-Physics Ricardi-Honders, only required 16 x 5-minute exposures.
I think that my new DSLR image (above) compares favorably to my most recent attempt at CCD imaging the same target, shown below. For the CCD image, I used an Astro-Physics
130mm refractor with a reducer to yield a focal length of about 600 mm. A QSI-583 camera, also antiblooming, helped to control the bloating of the brighter stars. A total of 66 minutes
red, 68 minutes green, and 80 minutes blue exposures (all unbinned 2 minute subexposures) were combined for the image.
Music - Beethoven 5th Symphony 1st Mvt