Five Pleiades!

Hey, everyone! Happy Friday, and a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Here in the northern hemisphere, spring, believe it or not, is on its way. The Earth will reach equinox on Monday the 20th. From then, clear out until the autumnal equinox in September, the days will be longer than the nights. Along with the start of Daylight Saving Time, this is kind of a bittersweet thing for us sky fans. More daylight means less night, and the night there is is later and a little less handy.

One of most gorgeous sights in the night sky is the Pleiades cluster in Taurus. It’s one of the nearest star clusters to Earth, and is a gorgeous sight overhead in a cold and crisp winter’s sky. Where I live, I can see seven of them naked eye; many more binoculars. Did you know those stars have names? Most are named for the mythical seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione, who also have stars in the cluster named for them. Before it’s gone until fall, let’s have one last look. Here are five of the Seven Sisters:

  1. Alcyone: The brightest in the cluster.
  2. Electra
  3. Merope
  4. Asterope (or Sterope)
  5. Taygeta

Have a great weekend, and clear skies, everyone!

Pleiades Map (Manual of Astronomy: A Text-Book, by Charles A. Young (c. 1902), p. 548)
Pleiades Map (Manual of Astronomy: A Text-Book, by Charles A. Young (c. 1902), p. 548)
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