The cluster core radius is about 8 light-years, and the tidal radius is around 43 light-years. In Greek lore, these seven sisters were the daughters of Atlas and Pleione. The name “Pleiades” comes from Ancient Greek, and it most likely comes from “plein”, which translates to “sail”, since the cluster’s importance in delimiting the sailing season in the Mediterranean Sea – “the season of navigation began with their heliacal rising.”. Although most accounts are uniform as to the number, names, and main myths concerning the Pleiades, the mythological information recorded by a scholiast on Theocritus' Idylls with reference to Callimachus[10] has nothing in common with the traditional version. The lost Pleiad may have a basis. Heracles came upon these pirates as they were taking their meal on a certain strand, and learning from the maidens what had taken place he slew the pirates to a man and brought the girls back to Atlas. It turns out this nebula (sometimes called the Maia Nebula) is unrelated to the stars. Michael Maestlin, the mentor of Johannes Kepler, mapped out 11 Pleiades stars before the invention of the telescope. In the account of Diodorus, the Pleiades were called Atlantides after their father Atlas and Hesperides from their mother Hesperis, daughter of Hesperus, brother of Atlas (making him the uncle of his bride). and all the gusty winds are raging, If you can see more than six Pleiades stars, then it means you have really good eyesight. Tales of the Seven Sisters have been passed on by word of mouth, and through poetry, art, music and architecture, by Greeks, Aborigines, Chinese, Native Americans, Egyptians, Persians, Indians and Polynesians, to name but a few. The apparent dimensions of the Pleiades cluster are estimated to be at around 110 arcminutes. The Pleiades open star cluster is located at around 444 light-years / 136 parsecs away from the Sun. The name is said to be derived from that of their mother, Pleione, and thus meaning “daughters of Pleione”, however, the name of the star cluster almost certainly came first, and Pleione was invented to explain it. They were the sisters of Calypso, Hyas, the Hyades, and the Hesperides. Over the millennia it has inspired folklore around the world, and is now studied as a recent birthplace for new stars. The mythological story depicts the sisters as they caught the eye of Orion, a giant huntsman. The seven stars named after the sisters are Alcyone, Asterope, Electra, Celaeno, Maia, Merope, Taygeta, while Atlas and Pleione stars are named after the sister's divine parents. This open cluster is among the closest star clusters to Earth. According to some versions of the tale, all seven sisters committed suicide because they were so saddened by either the fate of their father, Atlas, or the loss of their siblings, the Hyades. Modern-day astronomy sees the Pleiades quite differently. Some computer simulations have demonstrated that the Pleiades were probably formed from a compact configuration that resembled the Orion Nebula. The Seven Sisters are by your side! Astronomers estimate that the Pleiades open star cluster will continue to exist for another 250 million years, after which it will disperse due to gravitational interactions with its galactic neighborhood. Though the cluster is very bright and easy to find, you may also draw an imaginary line from the stars of Orion’s Belt – Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka  – past Aldebaran – and find the cluster. They were thought to have been translated to the night sky as a cluster of stars, the Pleiades, and were associated with rain. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, The Hyades Make up the Face of a Starry Bull, 12 Iconic Images From Hubble Space Telescope, The Hercules Constellation: Location, Stars, Deep Sky Objects, How to Find the Sagittarius Constellation in the Night Sky, Explore Aldebaran, the Fiery Orange-Red Eye of a Starry Bull, How to Find the Lyra Constellation in the Night Sky, M.S., Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Colorado - Boulder. Together with the seven Hyades, they were called the Atlantides, Dodonides, or Nysiades, nursemaids and teachers to the infant Dionysus. Several of the most prominent male Olympian gods (including Zeus, Poseidon, and Ares) engaged in affairs with the seven heavenly sisters. The poet Lord Tennyson mentions the Pleiades in his poem Locksley Hall: Many a night I saw the Pleiads, rising through the mellow shade, One of the most memorable myths involving the Pleiades is the story of how these sisters literally became stars, their catasterism. All the stars in the Pleiades cluster have a common origin, they formed through a gigantic molecular cloud of dust and gas. but, as I bid you, remember to work the land. For the Pleiades in other mythologies, see. This constellation is among the largest in the night sky, and also one of the most prominent of the northern constellations occupying an area of 797 square degrees. Pleiades and Astronomers They make up an open star cluster that lies about 400 light-years away, in the direction of the constellation Taurus, the Bull . The Pleiades would "flee mighty Orion and plunge into the misty deep" as they set in the West, which they would begin to do just before dawn during October–November, a good time of the year to lay up your ship after the fine summer weather and "remember to work the land"; in Mediterranean agriculture autumn is the time to plough and sow. The Pleiades open star cluster, also known as the Seven Sisters and designated as Messier 45, is an open star cluster that contains middle-aged, hot B-type stars. Some people with outstanding eye-sight claimed to have seen many more Pleiades stars. The name we know these stars by now comes from the ancient Greeks, who saw them as a group of woman who was companions to the goddess Artemis. The brightest stars in the Pleiades cluster are named after the Seven Sisters of Greek mythology and their parents. It is parented by Atlas, a Titan and the one who bears the earth on his shoulders, and Pleione, a beautiful sea nymph or goddess and also known as the mythical patroness of … Thus, the nine brightest Pleiades stars are Alcyone, Atlas, Electra, Maia, Merope, Taygeta, Pleione, Celaeno, and Asterope/Sterope. The Greek poet Hesiod mentions the Pleiades several times in his Works and Days. It is thus visible to the naked eye. Though it would appear that blue stars dominate the cluster, it is actually the red stars that do so, however, they are much fainter. They recently found that one of the cluster’s stars, namely HD 23514, which is more massive and luminous than our Sun, is surrounded by an overwhelming number of hot dust particles, and this could be evidence for planet formation around the star. Currently, the core of the cluster takes up an area of space about 8 light-years across. The seven stars named after the sisters are Alcyone, Asterope, Electra, Celaeno, Maia, Merope, Taygeta, while Atlas and Pleione stars are named after the sister's divine parents. This star cluster has been observed from nearly every part of our planet, and everyone from amateur astronomers with small telescopes to astronomers using Hubble Space Telescope has taken a shot of it. However, the Greek god Zeus stepped in and transformed the sisters into doves, and then into stars to console their father. One of the earliest known depictions of the Pleiades is probably a Northern German Bronze Age artifact known as the Nebra sky disk, which is dated to about 1600 BC. The brightest of them are usually hot blue stars of spectral type B, that have an estimated age of around 100 million years. The radius of the Pleiades stretches for about 17.5 light-years. Claims go as high as 20 stars. After Atlas was forced to carry the heavens on his shoulders, Orion began to pursue all of the Pleiades, and Zeus transformed them first into doves, and then into stars to comfort their father. The Constellation of Taurus is also home to another great open cluster named Hyades. These stars have had many names and show up on clothing, flats, pottery, and artwork. Gravity pulled the swirling gas and dust together and formed the Pleiades cluster which is now dominated by very hot blue and luminous stars. It ostensibly derives from the name of their mother, Pleione, effectively meaning "daughters of Pleione". They were credited with inventing ritual dances and nighttime festivals. These celestial objects are best observed and studied during January. The Pleiades is among the nearest star clusters to Earth, and it is also visible to the naked eye. The Pleiades cluster is also known as Messier 45. Even so, Orion, the giant, is still pursuing the Pleiades sisters across the sky, represented by the Orion constellation. The Pleiades cluster has around 800 solar masses or about 80.000% of the Sun’s mass. In reality, the Pleiades have more than a thousand stars that formed in the last 150 million years. The brightest stars in the Pleiades cluster are Alcyone (Eta Tauri... PLEIADES MYTH… https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4e/Pleiades_large.jpg/1280px-Pleiades_large.jpg, https://earthsky.org/upl/2017/11/pleiades-Ernie-Rossi-Florida-e1540922814442.jpg, https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1909/m45_lorenzi_3832.jpg, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e1/M45map.jpg, https://earthsky.org/upl/2014/11/pleiades-Greg-Hogsn-10-31-2016-e1478047327110.jpg, https://cdn.spacetelescope.org/archives/images/screen/opo0036a.jpg, https://www.star-facts.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Taurus-constellation.jpg?189db0&189db0, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7b/Nebra_Scheibe.jpg/800px-Nebra_Scheibe.jpg. The Pleiades are a prominent sight in winter in the Northern Hemisphere and are easily visible out to mid-Southern latitudes.

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