Starry Night: The Seven Sisters Shine Brilliantly in New Pleiades Photo

M45 by Terry Hancock and Robert Fields
The Pleiades star cluster comprises 800 stars and is located 410 light-years from Earth in the constellation Taurus. Terry Hancock of Downunder Observatory Fremont, Mich., captured the luminance of the image on Dec. 28, 2013. Robert Fields of Irving Observatory Howell Twp, Mich., captured the RBG on Nov. 13, 2013. (Image credit: Robert Fields | Terry Hancock)

When two Michigan-based astrophotographers combined their skills to capture the Pleiades star cluster, the results are nothing short of stunning.

The popular star cluster M45, known better as the Pleiades or Seven Sisters, dazzles in this beautiful collaborative effort, imaged on two different nights during some challenging winter weather.

Night sky photographer Terry Hancock of Downunder Observatory in Fremont, Mich., used a QHY11S monochrome CCD cooled to -20C camera, Takahashi Epsilon-180ED @ F2.8 telescope and Paramount GT-1100S German Equatorial Mount to capture the luminance on Dec. 28.

Observer Robert Fields of Irving Observatory n Howell Township, Mich., captured the RBG colors on Nov. 13 using a STL 11000 monochrome CCD camera, Takahashi FSQ 106 @ F5.0 telescope and Astro-Physics AP900 German Equatorial Mount. [Amazing Night Sky Photos by Stargazers: January 2014]

"While we continue with awful weather here in Michigan, it just makes sense to collaborate and this time using different telescopes and cameras but with a similar field of view," Hancock wrote in an email.

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Formed about 100 million years ago, the Pleiades star cluster comprises 800 stars. It is located 410 light-years from Earth in the constellation Taurus. One light-year is the distance light travels in a single year, which is about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers). The stars Atlas and Pleione, along with their seven daughter stars, make up what skywatchers can typically see with the naked eye.

To see more amazing night sky photos submitted by readers, visit our astrophotography archive.

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

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Contributing Writer and Producer

Nina Sen is a freelance writer and producer who covered night sky photography and astronomy for She began writing and producing content for in 2011 with a focus on story and image production, as well as amazing space photos captured by NASA telescopes and other missions. Her work also includes coverage of amazing images by astrophotographers that showcase the night sky's beauty.