Merope Nebula (NGC 1435)
The Merope Nebula (NGC 1435) is the most conspicuous of the reflection
nebulae in the Pleiades; it was discovered
by Wilhelm Tempel in 1859 and is sometimes
called Tempel's Nebula. Within it is a small bright knot, IC 349, discovered by Edward E. Barnard in 1890 (and thus also known as Barnard's Merope Nebula),
located just 0.06 light-year away from Merope –
the star that is the cause of its illumination. Long thought to be the remnant
of the Pleiades birth, the Merope Nebula is now known to be a chance occurrence,
as the cluster is merely passing through an interstellar cloud; in fact,
the cluster leaves a wake.
||440 light-years (135 pc)
||R.A. 03h 46.1m; Dec. 23° 47'
||GC 768, Tempel's Nebula,
AND STAR CLUSTERS