Pleiades star cluster, aka the Seven Sisters.

Pleiades star cluster, aka the Seven Sisters.
Frosty November is often called the month of the Pleiades, because it’s at this time that the Pleiades shine from dusk until dawn.

The Pleiades star cluster – also known as the Seven Sisters or M45 – is visible from virtually every place that humanity inhabits Earth’s globe. It can be seen from as far north as the north pole, and farther south than the southernmost tip of South America. It looks like a tiny misty dipper of stars. Follow the links below to learn more about the Pleiades.

The Pleiades, Hyades and Orion.

How to see the Pleiades.

Legend of the Lost Pleiad.

Pleiades as calendar, in history and in modern science.

How to see the Pleiades. If you’re familiar with the famous constellation Orion, it can help you be sure you’ve found the Pleiades. The image at right shows Orion at the bottom left. See the three stars in a row? That’s Orion’s Belt. Draw a line through the three stars of Orion’s Belt to the right – and you come to a V-shaped pattern of stars with a bright star in its midst. The V-shaped pattern is the Face of Taurus the Bull. The bright star in the V – called Aldebaran – depicts the Bull’s Eye. A bit past Aldebaran, you’ll see the Pleiades cluster, which marks the Bull’s Shoulder. In our image, the Pleiades cluster is at the top right.

Aldebaran, Arabic for follower, is thought to be in reference to this star forever chasing the Pleiades across the heavens. As a general rule, the Pleiades cluster rises into the eastern sky before Aldebaran rises, and sets in the west before Aldebaran sets. The only exception to this rule happens at far southern latitudes – like at South America’s Tierra del Fuego – where the Pleiades rise a short while after Aldebaran rises.

In our Northern Hemispheres skies, the Pleiades cluster is associated with the winter season. It’s easy to imagine this misty patch of icy-blue suns as hoarfrost clinging to the dome of night. Frosty November is often called the month of the Pleiades, because it’s at this time that the Pleiades shine from dusk until dawn. But you can see the Pleiades cluster in the evening sky well into April.

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