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Seven Sisters and California Nebula

Represented By: Babak A. Tafreshi

 

Region: Middle East

Site: Alborz Mountains - Iran

Spot: Firouzkooh

Date: October 2010

TWAN photographer reaches for the Seven Sisters in this single exposure photograph from a dark starry location. Dressed in blue, is the Pleiades star cluster. Also known as the Seven Sisters and M45, it is one of the brightest and most easily visible open clusters on the sky. The Pleiades contains over 3,000 stars (while only 7 of them are usually seen with unaided eye), is about 400 light years away, and only 13 light years across. Surrounding the stars is a blue reflection nebula made of fine dust. On the upper left, shining in red, is the California Nebula. Named for its shape, the Nebula is much dimmer and hence harder to see (invisible to unaided eye) than the Pleiades. Also known as NGC 1499, this mass of red glowing hydrogen gas is about 1500 light years away. The nebula is quite large in our sky, 2.5 degrees or 5 times wider than the full moon. Babak Tafreshi/Amir Abolfath/Oshin Zakarian

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