North is to the top.M45, the Pleiades cluster, is probably the most famous cluster in the sky. The cluster is easily visible with the naked eye. However, it is best viewed with binoculars or small telescopes.
Although the cluster is also called the Seven Sisters, it actually contains over 3000 stars. Located in the constellation of Taurus, M45 is about 400 light-years away and only 13 light-years across.
Pleiades is dominated by very hot and extremely luminous stars that were formed within the last 100 million years. The stars illuminate the dust in the area, creating the blue reflection nebula. Astronomers once thought the cluster was created from this dust. However, it is now known that the dust is unrelated and is simply a dust cloud in the interstellar medium.
Taken from 1/7/2013 to 1/17/2013 Chino Valley, AZ Takahashi FSQ – 106ED w/ an SBIG STF – 8300 camera using Baader filters Exposure Details: Lum 390 min (39 x 10 min) Red 70 min ( 7 x 10 min) Green 90 min ( 9 x 10 min) Blue 120 min (12 x 10 min)
For more info see http://bf-astro.com/m45-83/m45.htm