brightest stars of the Pleiades are named for the Seven Sisters
of Greek mythology: Sterope, Merope, Electra, Maia, Taygete,
Celaeno, and Alcyone, along with their parents Atlas and Pleione.
As one of the closest of star clusters to our solar system, M45
is dominated by hot blue stars that have only formed within the
last 100 million years. Alongside Maia is a reflection nebula
discovered by Tempel faint nebula which accompanies Merope was
discovered by master observer E.E. Barnard. These were first
believed to be left over from the formation of the cluster.
However, it didnít take many years of observation of proper
motion for astronomers to realize the Pleiades were actually
moving through a cloud of interstellar dust. While this pleasing
blue group is still only 440 light years away, it only has about
another 250 million years left before tidal interactions will
tear it apart. By then, its relative motion will have carried it
from the constellation of Taurus to the southern portion of