The Pleiades Star Cluster

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The sky is filled with breathtaking pictures, many of which are available on the World Wide Web. Each day we feature a different picture of some part of our fascinating universe, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

The Pleiades Star Cluster
Picture Credit: Mount Wilson Observatory

Explanation: The Pleiades star cluster, M45, is one of the brightest star clusters visible in the northern hemisphere. It consists of many bright, hot stars that were all formed at the same time within a large cloud of interstellar dust and gas. The blue haze that accompanies them is due to very fine dust which still remains and preferentially reflects the blue light from the stars.

Astronomy Picture of the Day is brought to you by Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell . Original material on this page is copyrighted to Robert J. Nemiroff and Jerry T. Bonnell.

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