Messier 45 (M45), also known as the Pleiades or Seven Sisters, is a bright open star cluster located in the constellation Taurus, the Bull. The Pleiades cluster has an apparent magnitude of 1.6 and lies at an average distance of 444 light years from Earth. The cluster is also known as Melotte 22. It does not have an NGC designation.
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Messier 44 (M44), also known as the Beehive Cluster or Praesepe (the Manger), is an open star cluster in the constellation Cancer. Praesepe is a bright, large cluster with an apparent magnitude of 3.7. It lies at a distance of 577 light years from Earth. It has the designation NGC 2632 in the New General Catalogue.
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Messier 42 (M42), the famous Orion Nebula, is an emission-reflection nebula located in the constellation Orion, the Hunter. With an apparent magnitude of 4.0, the Orion Nebula is one of the brightest nebulae in the sky and is visible to the naked eye. It lies at a distance of 1,344 light years from Earth and is the nearest stellar nursery to Earth. The nebula has the designation NGC 1976 in the New General Catalogue.
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Messier 36 (M36), also known as the Pinwheel Cluster, is an open cluster located in the northern constellation Auriga, the Charioteer. The cluster occupies an area of 12 arc minutes in the sky, corresponding to a linear extension of 14 light years. It has an apparent magnitude of 6.3 and lies at a distance of 4,100 light years from Earth. M36 has the designation NGC 1960 in the New General Catalogue.
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Messier 31 (M31), better known as the Andromeda Galaxy, is a large spiral galaxy located in the constellation Andromeda. Lying at a distance of 2.54 million light years from Earth, the Andromeda Galaxy is the nearest major galaxy to our own. It is on a collision course with our home galaxy, the Milky Way. Messier 31 has an apparent magnitude of 3.44. Its designation in the New General Catalogue is NGC 224.
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