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The Seven Sisters, M45

Proper NamesThe Pleiades, The Seven Sisters
Messier NumberM45
NGC/IC NumberN/A
Other Designations(SC 2000) 75
Right Ascension3h 47m 10s
Declination+24° 7' 32"
Distance407 light years
125 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +1.2
Absolute: -4.3
DiameterApparent: 1° 48'
Actual: 13 light years
Number of Starsc. 100
Optimum VisibilityNovember/December
Map of the Pleiades

One of the most prominent and famous open clusters in the entire sky. The Pleiades is a rich and nebulous cluster of stars about four hundred light years from the Solar System.

Location of the Pleiades

Though the sky immediately around the Pleiades contains no bright stars, the cluster is easy to locate. It lies directly to the northwest of the V-shaped Hyades, the 'face' of Taurus the Bull.

Relative Galactic Position of the Pleiades

The constellation of Taurus lies in the direction of our Galaxy's rim. All the objects it contains, including the Pleiades, are further from the Galaxy's core than our own Solar System.

A view from inside the Pleiades

Inside the cluster: A view from Alcyone of several of its fellow stars within the Pleiades. From bottom left to top right: Atlas, Pleione, Asterope, Taygeta and Electra.


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