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Pleiades star cluster

Pleiades star cluster

R614/0220

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Credit

TONY & DAPHNE HALLAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TONY & DAPHNE HALLAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Pleiades star cluster, optical image. This cluster (M45) comprises over 3000 stars. All the stars formed at around the same time. They are young by stellar standards, around 100 million years old. The stars are wreathed in blue nebulosity. This is a reflection nebula, a cloud of dust that reflects the blue light of the stars. It was thought that the nebula was the vestiges of the matter from which the stars formed, but modern measurements have shown that the cloud is passing through the cluster purely by chance. The Pleiades cluster lies around 400 light years from Earth in the constellation Taurus.

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