APOD: 2020 September 9 – Pleiades: The Seven Sisters Star Cluster

APOD: 2020 September 9 – Pleiades: The Seven Sisters Star Cluster<br />

Discover the cosmos!
Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is
featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2020 September 9

See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
the highest resolution version available.

Pleiades: The Seven Sisters Star Cluster
Image Credit & Copyright:
Raul Villaverde Fraile

Have you ever seen the Pleiades star cluster?

Even if you have, you probably have never seen it as large and clear as this.

Perhaps the most famous star cluster on the sky, the bright stars of the
can be seen without binoculars from even the depths of a
light-polluted city.

With a long exposure from a dark location, though, the dust cloud surrounding the
Pleiades star
cluster becomes very evident.

The featured exposure covers a
sky area several times the size of the full

Also known as the Seven Sisters and
the Pleiades lies about 400 light years away toward the constellation of the Bull

A common legend with a
modern twist is that one of the brighter stars faded since the cluster was named, leaving only
six of the sister stars visible to the unaided eye.

The actual number of
Pleiades stars visible,
however, may be more or less than seven, depending on the
darkness of the surrounding sky and the
clarity of the observer’s eyesight.

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Authors & editors:
Robert Nemiroff
(MTU) &
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman
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