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Blue Pleiades and Red Mars | by TransientAstronomer
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Blue Pleiades and Red Mars

This image taken from Grand Mesa Observatory on March 2, 2021, shows a close perspective meeting between the Red Planet and the blue reflection nebula of the Pleiades star cluster otherwise known as M45.


While to observers on Earth M45 and Mars seem close, they are enormously distant from each other. In this image they appear to be about two and a half degrees or about five widths of the full moon apart, but looks can be deceiving. Mars being in our solar system is 12 light-minutes away while the Pleiades are about 434 light-years distant.


This image was captured and processed by Terry Hancock and Tom Masterson. The William Optics Redcat with QHY16200A and its 7-position filter wheel is now available at Grand Mesa Observatory for subscription, see here for details:


Technical Details


Captured and processed by: Tom Masterson and Terry Hancock

Location: Grand Mesa Observatory Purdy Mesa, Colorado

March 1st and 2nd 2021


LRGB 96 mins 8 x 180 sec each

Filters by Chroma


Camera: QHY16200A

Gain 0, Offset 130 Calibrated with Flat, Dark and Bias Frames.


Optics: William Optics Redcat 51 APO @ F4.9

EQ Mount: Paramount MEII


Image Acquisition software Maxim DL6

Pre Processing in Pixinsight

Post Processed in Photoshop CC

Star Removal by Starnet



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Uploaded on March 6, 2021