Location of Photo:
Siding Spring Observatory, Australia
Date/Time of photo:
Celestron RASA 14 ; ASI6200C
The Pleiades is a cultural icon for many cultures around the world. In Greek mythology, they were the seven daughters of the Titan Atlas; Zeus transformed them into stars to protect them from the hunter Orion. Similar stories are told in Aboriginal groups across Australia, where the Pleiades represent a group of young girls associated with sacred ceremonies. As it turns out, the Pleiades are sisters in the real sense, and the true story is more fascinating than our imagined ones. Modern science has revealed that they are a group of hot blue luminous stars born from the same gas clouds within the last 100 million years. They travel through space hand-in-hand, bound together by mutual attraction - gravity. Currently, they are passing through a gigantic dust cloud; the intense energy produced by the stars illuminates their surroundings, forming the magnificent nebula you see in this image. More about the life cycle of Star Clusters: https://www.onebackpacker.com/behind-the-lens/open-clusters (The original data was acquired from iTelescope, which I processed using pixinsight and photoshop).