THE PLEIADES

The famed Pleiades, or Seven Sisters star cluster, lies 400 light years away in the constellation Taurus. Wisps from a cloud of interstellar gas and dust through which the cluster is now passing can just be seen around some of the brighter stars. In mythology, the Sisters (the stars to the right) are the daughters of Atlas and Pleione (to the left). Only one, Alcyone, carries a Greek letter name. All, including Alcyone, however, carry Flamsteed numbers as indicated Alcyone is also 25 Tauri. Sterope, sometimes known as "Asterope," is actually two stars, "Sterope I" (the brighter) and Sterope II." (North is toward the top.) Photo by Mark Killion.