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The bright stars and associated nebulosities in the Pleiades star cluster M45

[M45 with star names, UKS]

M45 with star names labelled in the photograph, taken by David Malin with the UK Schmidt Telescope. Courtesy Anglo-Australian Observatory / Royal Observatory Edinburgh.

  • More info on this image

    Star Name mag Sp Nebulosity
    eta = 25 Alcyone 2.86 B7e III vdB 23
    27 Atlas 3.62 B8 III Ced 190
    17 Electra 3.70 B6e III vdB 20
    20 Maia 3.86 B7 III NGC 1432
    23 Merope 4.17 B6 IV NGC 1435 + IC 349
    19 Taygeta 4.29 B6 V Ced 19e
    28 = BU Pleione 5.09v B8e p Ced 19p
    16 Celaeno 5.44 B7 IV Ced 19c
    21+22 Asterope 5.64; 6.41 B8e V; B9 V
    18 5.65 B8 V
    Sterope 5.76 B8 V Ced 19h


    Star letter or number; "eta" is "eta Tauri", "27" is "27 Tauri", etc.
    Common name of the star
    Apparent visual magnitude
    Spectral type of star
    Catalog number of associated nebulosity (if one is present)
    The most conspicuous of the Pleiades reflection nebulae is NGC 1435 around Merope, also called "Tempel's Nebula". This is the only one which was known to John Herschel when he compiled his General Catalog (GC) in 1864, and has been assigned the number GC 768. It has a faint extension, IC 349, which is very small and 36" south following (east) of Merope.

    The star Maia (20 Tauri) was subject to speculation when Otto Struve brought up the hypothesis that it might be the representative of a new type of variables of spectral type B7-A3 near-main sequence stars, of some ours period and small amplitudes. However, various photometric investigations have proven that Maia (and other suspected "Maia Variables" such as Gamma UMa) is of constant brightness.

    Another diffuse nebula, IC 353, is about 1 degree north following of the Pleiades, according to the Sky Catalog 2000. The present author has no information if this nebula is associated with the Pleiades or their nebulosity. Near the boundary of the Pleiades, but with no evidence for a connection, lies the diffuse nebula IC 1990, which surrounds the double star ADS 2799 (A: 5.9 m, B: 6.3 m, separation 0.4"), see e.g. Vehrenberg's Atlas of Deep Sky Splendors.

  • Map of the Pleiades Star Cluster M45

    Hartmut Frommert (spider@seds.org)
    Christine Kronberg (smil@lrz.uni-muenchen.de)

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    Last Modification: 2 Feb 1998, 14:40 MET