CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

The Seven Sisters
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The Seven Sisters
PIA 08260

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  The stars of the Pleiades cluster, also known by the names `M45' and `the Seven Sisters', shine brightly in this view from Cassini. The cluster is comprised of hundreds of stars, a few of which are visible to the unaided eye on Earth as a brilliant grouping in the constellation Taurus.

Some faint nebulous material is seen here. This reflection nebula is dust that reflects the light of the hot, blue stars in the cluster.

The monochrome view was made by combining 49 clear filter images of the Pleiades taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Aug. 1, 2006. The images were taken as a part of a sequence designed to help calibrate the camera electronics.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit and the Cassini imaging team home page,

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Released: September 6, 2006 (PIA 08260)
Image/Caption Information

Alliance Member Comments
Mercury_3488 (Dec 8, 2008 at 1:48 PM):
Hi Red_dragon,

Another nice astronomical shot from Saturn orbit by Cassini.

Andrew Brown.
Mercury_3488 (Feb 6, 2008 at 8:13 PM):
The Pleiades / M45 show how good Cassini's ISS is.

Very familiar with this cluster in Taurus, but it seems strange that they are imaged here from a Saturn centric orbit.

Noticed that the Pleiades have been imaged again on Sunday 3rd February 2008, from Cassini. A very good test of imaging systems.

Also the Pleiades / M45 had been imaged by the Mercury bound MESSENGER spacecraft, just prior to the second Venus encounter & also by the Mars Exploration Rover A Spirit, from the Gusev Crater on Mars.

So this very familiar star cluster has been imaged from through out much of the solar system.

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