M45 in Taurus
This image captures the beauty of M45, also known as the Pleiades. M45 is an open star cluster located in the constellation Taurus, about 440 light-years away from Earth. The cluster contains around 1,000 stars, although only a few dozen are visible to the naked eye. The brightest stars in the cluster are blue-white, and they are among the youngest and hottest stars known.
M45 has a diameter of about 13 light-years and it is estimated to be around 100 million years old. The stars in the cluster are still relatively young and they are surrounded by a faint blue nebulosity, which is a reflection nebula illuminated by the light of the stars. The Pleiades are visible to the naked eye as a faint cluster of stars, and they have been known since ancient times. The cluster is named after the Seven Sisters of Greek mythology, and it has been referenced in many cultures throughout history.
The Pleiades are often used as a test of visual acuity, as some people are able to see more than seven stars in the cluster. The stars in the Pleiades gravitationally bound and are moving through space together, they will stay that way until the end of their lives or something with a stronger gravitational pull disrupts them.