The extension of Maya was discovered in 1875 (this is NGC 1432). The nebulae around Alcyona, Electra, Cel?no and Taygeta were discovered 5 years later, in 1880. The full complexity of the Pleiades nebulae was revealed by the first astro cameras by that of the brothers Henry in Paris and Isaac Roberts in England between 1885 and 1888. In 1890, E.E. Barnard discovered a star-like concentration of nebulous matter very close to Merope which found its way into the Index Catalogue as IC 349.

Vesto M. Slipher making long exposure photographs made the next discovery in 1912 at the Lowell observatory. He discovered that the spectrum of this nebulosity is identical to the spectra of the involved stars.