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Contains:  16 Tau, 17 Tau, 19 q Tau, 20 Tau, 21 Tau, 22 Tau, 23 Tau, 24 Tau, 25 eta Tau, 26 Tau, 27 Tau, 28 Tau, Alcyone, Asterope, Atlas, Celaeno, Electra, IC349, M45, Maia, Maia nebula, Merope, Merope nebula, NGC 1432, NGC 1435, NGC1435, Pleiades, Pleione, Sterope II, Taygeta, The star Atlas (27Tau), The star Celaeno (16Tau), The star Electra (17Tau), The star Merope (23Tau), The star Pleione (28Tau), The star Sterope I (21Tau), The star Taygeta (19Tau), The star ηTau
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Pleiades-2019 (w/ using the ED80), 


            Kurt Zeppetello
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Pleiades-2019 (w/ using the ED80)

Technical card

Dates:Jan. 3, 2019Jan. 5, 2019Jan. 6, 2019

ZWO B 1.25" optimized for ASI1600: 22x90" (gain: 139.00) -15C bin 1x1
ZWO G 1.25" optimized for ASI1600: 21x90" (gain: 139.00) -15C bin 1x1
ZWO L 1.25" optimized for ASI1600: 52x90" (gain: 139.00) -15C bin 1x1
ZWO R 1.25" optimized for ASI1600: 22x90" (gain: 139.00) -15C bin 1x1

Integration: 2.9 hours

Darks: ~15

Flats: ~20

Bias: ~20

Avg. Moon age: 18.86 days

Avg. Moon phase: 2.23%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 5.00

Temperature: 2.00 job: 2460221

RA center: 3h 46' 51"

DEC center: +24° 7' 4"

Pixel scale: 1.666 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 159.242 degrees

Field radius: 1.249 degrees

Resolution: 4340x3206

Locations: Happy Frog Observatory, Monroe, Connecticut, United States

Data source: Backyard


Pleiades or M45 is probably the third most imaged object after Orion and Andromeda and happens to be my favorite open cluster. It contains over 500 stars and is 400 light-years away. At least seven of the very brightest stars are visible with the naked eye and is nicknamed the "Seven Sisters". In Japanese it is known as the Subaru hence the logo of the car company. Although it appears the bluish reflection nebula is part of the cluster, studies show that it is unrelated to the cluster it just happens to be passing through the molecular cloud.

The view is upside down from most other images I have seen as the Merope Nebula on the top and the stars Maia, Electra, and Alcyone on bottom, left, and in the center respectively. Like most of the stars that make up Pleiades, these are young, blue, hot, and luminous. This image and the one I took just last year with the DSLR ( show the nebula with the elongated spikes coming together in the center. If you compare the images I believe I captured more nebulosity last year which is not that surprising since it was a longer exposure. However, I like how the background turned out on this version and it was much easier to process as I had much less defects. The large stars did not have nearly the same halos that last years image had. Lastly, I was going to crop it but I like the wide field including the orange/red star HIP 17759 on the bottom of the image. There was nothing noteworthy about it other than it is 541-light years away, I thought it looked good in contrast to the blue tinted Pleiades.

So why did I not shoot for longer exposure? I was not planning to image this at all this at all as I thought I would have my new telescope by now and would be imaging different objects. Astronomics said that it is off the boat and on the road now so it should not be too much longer (days). The weather has been crazy as of late and did want to get caught up in an object that I will need a month to image so I knew I could get a decent image of this even with only a few hours. Most people would be surprised to see my small FOV so I have to be strategic in my imaging (very small windows). As it turns out I also have three hours on the Horsehead Nebula which is bare minimum but there is supposed to be a couple of clear nights coming up and the telescope is not here yet so I will try for some more data on that. Anyways, enjoy what is likely my last Pleiades image using the ED80.



Kurt Zeppetello
License: None (All rights reserved)

Sky plot

Sky plot


Pleiades-2019 (w/ using the ED80), 


            Kurt Zeppetello