The Pleiades, M45, is one of the nearest open star clusters. It appears high overhead in the constellation Taurus on winter evenings in the northern hemisphere. Light from the cluster's hot blue stars reflects off of the surrounding interstellar dust cloud and shines as a blue reflection nebula. M45 is about 135 light-years from Earth.
130 minutes L and 120 minutes RGB (binned 2x2) on 2013-02-06 using a QSI 583 from northern New Jersey through an Astro-Physics 105mm (4.1 inch) refractor at f6. North is up. ©2013
2½-days past new phase and 17% illuminated by the Sun on April 1, 2006, the crescent Moon passed in front of M45, the Pleiades star cluster, also known as the Seven Sisters. Earthshine illuminated most of the side of the Moon hidden from the Sun. (This image is rotated almost 60° from the top photo.)
Astro-Physics 155mm (6.1 inch) refractor at f5.2. Composite of three exposures on Kodak Supra 400 color negative film: 2 seconds (earthshine and the stars), 1/30 second (the Moon near the terminator), and 1/250 second (the Moon near the bright limb). Photographed from northern New Jersey on April 1, 2006 at 8:22 p.m. EST. ©2006