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M45

M45

Vision In Time Observatory - Peoria, AZ

Perhaps the most impressive open cluster of stars seen in the sky naked eye and through a telescope. M45 was used by the American Indians to test the eyesight of young scouts as part of their training. Young boys were asked to count the stars naked eye. Most people see between 4 and 6 stars in a fairly dark sky site. Those with very good vision (like Indain Scouts) might see seven or eight. With my eyesight, corrected to 20/40 with my glasses I only see a smudge of stars. I am not able to see any single stars. As an Indian with my eyesight I guess I would be a cook not a scout.

In 1921 astronomers associated at least 246 stars in the open cluster. M45 is about 410 light years aways. With modern photography we can resolve over 2000 stars in the image but not all of these stars are associated with the cluster.

This image was taken with a TeleVue 76mm scope at prime focus, mounted to the LX200 Meade scope and a Fuji S2 camera set to 13 mpixels. This is a single image of only 10 seconds. The blue haze seen around the stars is dust left over from the formation of the stars at their birth or gas emitted from the stars.

The image presents in blue color. Most of these stars are new stars that are hot. White and blue colors are associated with young hot stars.

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