Hot Blue Stars of Pleiades Sparkle in Spectacular Photo
Reinhold Wittich captured this image of the Pleiades star cluster from his backyard observatory in Geisling, Germany using a 12" f/4 Newton telescope. The image took 780 minutes of total exposure time in October 2010 and was released to SPACE.com April 2013.
Credit: Reinhold Wittich / www.wittich.com

A massive grouping of enchanting blue stars shine in this gorgeous night sky photo.

Astrophotographer Reinhold Wittich snapped this photo of the Pleiades star cluster from his backyard observatory in Geisling, Germany using a 12" f/4 Newton telescope. The image took 780 minutes of total exposure time in October 2010 and was released to SPACE.com this month.

The Pleiades star cluster, also known as M45, is a group of 800 stars. Located in the constellation Taurus, the open cluster formed about 100 million years ago and its brightest stars glow a hot blue color. The cluster is located about 410 light-years aay from Earth. A light-year is the distance light travels in one year, or about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers). Scientist estimate the young, recently formed stars in the cluster will burn out quickly, likely in the next 200 million years.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at spacephotos@space.com.

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