October 30, 2013
Summary Authors: Greg Parker; Jim Foster
The image above showing the Seven Sisters or Pleiades star cluster was retrieved from the Deep Sky Survey 2 data (DSS2). Its nebulosity, caused by starlight scattering off interstellar dust, looks particularly spooky here. The Seven Sisters is likely the most recognizable closed star cluster, visible with the naked eye. Look for it in Taurus -- to the right and above Orion. For viewers in the Northern Hemisphere, it's visible from mid autumn through most of the winter season. Though only seven stars can be readily detected (in dark skies), the Pleiades actually consists of several hundred stars -- approximately 425 light years distant.
Photo details: Red and blue image channels downloaded from SkyView and opened using FITS Liberator (image processing software). I create a red/blue/blue image and then synthesize a green channel. The RGB image is then further processed in Photoshop at the New Forest Observatory in England.