ROYAL OBSERVATORY, EDINBURGH / AAO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL OBSERVATORY, EDINBURGH / AAO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Optical image of the Pleiades open star cluster (M45) which is situated in the constellation of Taurus at about 400 light years from Earth. The Pleiades cluster is young (roughly 50 million years) on a galactic time scale and is still embedded in a cloud of cold gas and interstellar dust, which represent the material left over from the cluster formation. The cloud forms the finest and nearest example of a reflection nebula and appears blue because blue light is reflected more efficiently by the interstellar particles.
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