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Bruce Karbal

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M45 image


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M45, more commonly referred to as The Pleiades or the Seven Sisters, is an open star cluster located about 444 Lightyears away in the constellation of Taurus. The Pleiades name originates from Ancient Greece, where they (Pleiades) are the seven daughters of the Titan Atlas and the ocean Nymph Pleione. During a war, Atlas tried to rebel against Zeus, King of the Gods and was sentenced to forever hold up the heavens on his shoulders. Heartbroken, the seven daughters pleaded with Zeus, who then placed them in the sky to be closer to their Father. The Pleiades was used as an eye test for the Greek army’s rangers. Pleiades has been observed for thousands of years, but was only officially catalogued by Galileo Galilei in 1610. Most of the stars within the cluster were born near the same time. The brighter of the bunch formed within the last 100 million years, and only have a few more hundred million years to go, unlike the billions of years our sun has left. An easy way to find this target is to find Orion’s belt, follow the constellation to Orion’s bow, then find the super bright star Aldebaran and continue that path until you arrive at the Pleiades.