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Merope Nebula (NGC 1435)

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.

angular size 30'
distance 440 light-years (135 pc)
position R.A. 03h 46.1m; Dec. 23° 47'
other designations GC 768, Tempel's Nebula,
Auw 18

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