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Stellar Sisters
     2 November 2006
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  1 November 2006
 
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Stellar Sisters 

Skywatchers Adam Block and Tim Puckett caught this view of the Pleiades, a stellar septuplet better known as the Seven Sisters.

Block and Puckett used a Televue 127 telescope and an Apogee U9000 camera—not to mention seven hours of patience—to develop this Pleiades portrait.

Despite its numerical moniker, the Pleiades contain many more stars. Up to 11 have been recorded in varying skywatching conditions on Earth, though the entire star cluster has been found to contain 250 objects in all.  

The Pleiades sit some 410 light-years from Earth and span a 20 light-year swath of sky. The entire cluster may be only 20 million years old, some studies suggest.

Here, Puckett and Block capture a stunning look at the stellar group, whose light is scattered by surrounding dust. The skywatchers recorded this view in early October 2006.

This year, the Moon will occult the Pleiades no less than 13 times.

-- Tariq Malik

Credit: Adam Block and Tim Puckett

 

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