Gallery »  M45 and Mars

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The Pleiades rise with Mars. This is my second year of astrophotography, and I got a bit sentimental when I realized I would be able to see the Pleiades in the morning. When I started this hobby in 2020 in the Pacific Northwest, the nights were long and cold while the planets rose high and early. Orion dominated the southern skies, and the Seven Sisters were ever present. My first photographs using a regular camera were of this easy-to-locate cluster with pockets of nebulosity. Seeing them again heralds Autumn, with new nebula, wide field shots of flames and horseheads, rosettes and runners, sisters and monkeyheads. So, I decided to capture a picture and as I was framing the 55mm shot, I realized Mars could just squeeze into it. It was past nautical dawn, so I ditched the idea of a 5-minute exposure. Normally I stack 30-second exposures, but I felt like 2 minutes would be enough to capture the cluster even if I didn't catch the wispy blue nebulosity while keeping Mars from completely oversaturating. Here's the result. This is a single two-minute exposure of 'The Pleiades rise with Mars.'
Telescope:   Sony ILCE-6300
Length:   55mm
Aperture:   9mm
F-stop:   f/6.1
Sessions:   1
Captured:   2022-07-31
Lights:   1
Exposure:   120
Total exposure:   2 m
Ra:   3h 24m 9.9s
Dec:   +19° 37' 11.176
Size:   978.758 x 826.01 arcmin
Radius:   10.673 deg
Scale:   14.594 arcsec/pixel