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M45 The Pleiades
M45 The Pleiades
Description: The cluster is dominated by hot blue stars which have formed within the last 100 million years. Dust that forms a faint reflection nebulosity around the brightest stars was thought at first to be left over from the formation of the cluster hence the alternate name Maia Nebula after the star Maia, but is now known to be an unrelated dust cloud in the interstellar medium that the stars are currently passing through. Astronomers estimate that the cluster will survive for about another 250 million years, after which it will have dispersed due to gravitational interactions with its galactic neighborhood.

Date Taken: 10/15/2008
Views: 4426
City: Billerica
State: massachusetts
Zipcode: 01862
Country: United States
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Uploaded on 11/2/2008
by astronight
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