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Posts Tagged ‘Seven Sisters’

11/16/2020 – Ephemeris – How to find the Pleiades or Seven Sisters

November 16, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Monday, November 16th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 31 minutes, setting at 5:13, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:43. The Moon, 1 day past new, will set at 6:31 this evening.

A marvelous member of the autumn skies can be found low in the east after 8 in the evening. It is the famous star cluster called the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters. I might also add the ‘Tiny Dipper’. Many people can spot a tiny dipper shape in its six or seven stars, and mistake it for the Little Dipper. When I was nearsighted*, though corrected, I never had been able to see more than a few stars and a bit of fuzz. However, with binoculars, even I could see over a hundred stars appear along with the dipper shape of the brightest. The fuzz I saw was unresolved stars, but in photographs the Pleiades actually contain wisps of the gas and dust they are currently passing through. In Greek mythology the sisters were daughters of the god Atlas. I’ll be revisiting the Pleiades several times this autumn, winter, and as they disappear in the west in evening twilight next spring.

The event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

*My vision was corrected with cataract surgery a few years ago. The Pleiades now have a granular appearance now.

Addendum

Pleiades finder animation

Pleiades finder animation looking east at 8 pm, November 16th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Aldebaran

Aldebaran in the ‘V’ shape of the Hyades (The face of Taurus the bull) with the Pleiades above. Created using Stellarium.

Greek Pleiades

The Greek Pleiades a painting by Elihu Vedder in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. Public Domain.

12/15/2015 – Ephemeris – The Seven Sisters of the Pleiades

December 14, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, December 15th.  The Sun will rise at 8:13.  It’ll be up for 8 hours and 49 minutes, setting at 5:02.  The Moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 7:21 this evening.

While I’ve mentioned the Pleiades with regard to its neighboring stars and constellations several times this autumn I haven’t looked at this beautiful star cluster itself.  The Pleiades appears as a  group of six or seven stars visible to the naked eye, of over a hundred stars, and is also known as the Seven Sisters.  Some also mistake it for the Little Dipper, due to the little bowl shape in the center of the cluster.  I call it the “tiny dipper”.  The real Little Dipper is now hanging off Polaris in the north.  There are a lot of stories about the Pleiades from many different cultures.  From the Greek and Roman cultures we get our best known stories of them, that the seven sisters were the daughters of the god Atlas and Pleione.  The 9 brightest stars bear the names of the sisters and their parents.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Hyades and Pleiades

The Pleiades (right) and the Hyades, the face of Taurus the bull (left) in this photograph I took 11:23 p.m. January 4, 2016.

Named Pleiads

The named stars of the Pleiades. This is also showing more stars than can be seen with the naked eye. This is the number of stars that can be seen in binoculars, which is the best way to observe them. Most telescopes offer too much magnification to fit all the stars in. A thirty power wide angle eyepiece can just fit all the stars in. Created using Stellarium.  Note that this view is the orientation of the cluster at 8p.m. tonight.

 

10/20/2014 – Ephemeris – Looking for the Pleiades or Seven Sisters

October 20, 2014 Comments off

Oct 20.  This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Monday, October 20th.  The sun will rise at 8:04.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 45 minutes, setting at 6:49.   The moon, 3 days before new, will rise at 5:43 tomorrow morning.

A marvelous member of the autumn skies can be found low in the east northeast after 9 in the evening.  It is the famous star cluster called the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters.  I might also add the ‘Tiny Dipper’.  Many people can spot a tiny dipper shape in its six or seven stars, and mistake it for the Little Dipper.  As nearsighted as I am, though corrected, I’ve never been able to see more than a few stars and a bit of fuzz.  However with binoculars, even I can see over a hundred stars appear along with the dipper shape of the brightest.  The fuzz I saw was unresolved stars, but in photographs the Pleiades actually contain wisps of the gas they are passing through currently.  In Greek mythology the sisters were daughters of the god Atlas.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Pleiades finder chart

Looking to the east northeast at the Pleiades: 9 p.m.. Created using Stellarium.

The Pleiades, about what you'd see in binoculars.

The Pleiades, about what you’d see in binoculars.

10/16/2012 – Ephemeris – Autumn wonders for binoculars or small telescope: The Pleiades

October 16, 2012 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, October 16th.  The sun will rise at 7:59.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 55 minutes, setting at 6:55.   The moon, 1 day past new, will set at 7:33 this evening.

The most magnificent star cluster of the autumn sky is the Pleiades or Seven Sisters.  At 10 p.m. It will appear as a close group of stars of a nebulous fuzz, depending your eyesight or sky conditions low in the east.  It is the perfect binocular object, showing under good conditions a hundred more than the 7 brightest stars.  Some mistake it for the Little Dipper because the stars do make a nearly handle less dipper.  I tend to call it the Tiny Dipper.  The stars in the Pleiades are less than half the age of the stars in the Double Cluster I talked about yesterday.  The stars in the is cluster are about 100 million years old.  Compared to the sun, these guys aren’t out of diapers yet.  I’ll have lots more to to talk about the Pleiades as autumn wears on.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

The Pleiades, about what you'd see in binoculars.

The Pleiades, about what you’d see in binoculars.

 

Pleiades and Jupiter at 10 p.m. October 16, 2012.  Created using Stellarium.

Pleiades and Jupiter at 10 p.m. October 16, 2012. Created using Stellarium.

04/02/2012 – Ephemeris – Venus will pass the Pleiades tonight

April 2, 2012 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, April 2nd.  The sun will rise at 7:20.  It’ll be up for 12 hours and 51 minutes, setting at 8:11.   The moon, 3 days past first quarter, will set at 5:14 tomorrow morning.

This evening Venus starts a pass by the Pleiades star cluster.  The Pleiades is also known as the Seven Sisters and soon it will disappear in the twilight glow.  The next time it will be seen in the evening is in next October.  Venus will head back toward the sun, which it will pass directly in front of on June 5th.  The sun will pass the Pleiades in mid May, so Venus will never quite make it back to the Pleiades this go around anyway.  Though Venus is beginning to head back to the sun, it is still moving eastward against the stars, though a little slower than the sun.  Right now Venus is mostly heading toward us.  Around the 16th of May Venus will finally stop its eastward motion with respect with the stars and will head westward.

* Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Venus passing the Pleiades April 2 - 4, 2012. Created using Cartes du Ciel.

Venus passing the Pleiades April 2 - 4, 2012. Created using Cartes du Ciel.

In the real sky Venus is a heck of a lot brighter than you see here.  And with binoculars, you’ll see a lot more stars in the Pleiades.