The Pleiades

The Pleiades title=
The Pleiades
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By Stargazer Ron

I took advantage of the New Year's sparkling clear skies following our bountiful rains to photograph the Pleiades. The bright, hot, blue stars formed within the last 100 million years. They are extremely luminous and will burn out quickly, with life spans of only a few hundred million years — much shorter than the 8+ billion years for our sun. The sibling stars, often called the "Seven Sisters," are surrounded by blue filaments of light that are the result of starlight reflecting off of interstellar dust.

The Greek name "Pleiades" probably comes from a word meaning "to sail." In the ancient Mediterranean world, the day that the Pleiades cluster first appeared in the morning sky before sunrise announced the opening of the navigation season. "Subaru" is the Japanese name for the cluster, one of whom tradition says is invisible — hence only six stars in the Subaru car logo. Indeed, even in dark skies most observers without optical aids will see only six .

They are quite prominent in Winter skies. To see them, first find the beautiful constellation Orion the Hunter, as he rises in the east-southeast and look for the stars in his belt above the bright blue Rigel. Then draw a line between these three stars and extend it upward about five times the length of the belt. There you will find the first magnitude star, Aldebaran. Continue upward to the star cluster that looks like a very small Big Dipper.

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macpuzl Jan 04, 2022 12:13 PM
The Pleiades

Nice shot!

The stars in the Pleiades open cluster are loosely gravitationally bound, moving through space on a common trajectory. They are passing through a cloud of dust particles of sizes that preferentially scatter the blue wavelengths of light, resulting in the nebulosity you see around the brighter components. There are hundreds of stars in the cluster, and they are at a distance where the light you currently see left those stars around the time of Galileo, 400 years ago.

NostraChumash Jan 04, 2022 02:40 PM
The Pleiades

There are several ancient cultures who claim to be from the stars..
These groups did NOT know of the existence of other Peoples on Earth..
But when asked exactly Where from the stars they were, they all said the same place..the Pleiades..
Chumash too.

Curmudgeon Jan 04, 2022 06:37 PM
The Pleiades

NOSTRACHUMASH - This interesting assertion intrigues me and I'd like to read about it further. Can you cite some sources or web sites that I can visit? Appreciated.

macpuzl Jan 04, 2022 06:59 PM
The Pleiades

Because the Pleiades are so prominent in the sky, almost every culture around the world incorporates this asterism into its mythology:

macpuzl Jan 04, 2022 07:44 PM
The Pleiades

A more local source, specific to the Chumash:

NostraChumash Jan 05, 2022 08:26 AM
The Pleiades

I simply typed in
"Cultures claiming Pleiades origin" & discovered a ton of info...
I did notice though, many Native tribes claiming it as origin or home, moreso than other groups.

Curmudgeon Jan 04, 2022 03:51 PM
The Pleiades

SG Ron - Beautiful photo! Taken "prime focus" through the scope or piggybacked camera?

EastBeach Jan 04, 2022 07:34 PM
The Pleiades

One of my favorites in the night sky! Very nice.

Seabird Jan 04, 2022 10:00 PM
The Pleiades

I love them so much. They've been a marker of "home" for me my whole life. I literally feel comfort when I see them. Thanks for sharing.

Neptune5 Jan 05, 2022 10:59 AM
The Pleiades

Another absolutely spectacular image by one of our best local photographers!

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