Many objects in the night sky are only visible through binoculars or a telescope, but not the Pleiades or the Seven Stars. This cluster of open, twinkling stars is easy to spot with the naked eye this winter.
You can find the Seven Sisters in the constellation of Taurus. The star cluster is fairly easy to find if you know the constellation Orion. The constellation of Orion has a “belt” of three stars. It’s Orion’s belt. Follow Orion’s belt upwards (orange line) and you will come to a bright star: Aldebaran. It is the brightest star in the constellation Taurus. Continue the line a little further (yellow line) and you will arrive at Les Pléiades. You can see it clearly on the map below.
The Pleiades are one of the closest star clusters. The open star cluster contains at least 500 stars and is located more than 400 light years from Earth. The star cluster is about 100 million years old. Today, the stars are held together by gravity, but scientists believe the group will collapse within 250 million years.
A quarter of the stars in the Seven Stars are brown dwarfs. They are actually failed stars. The mass of brown dwarfs is too small to initiate nuclear fusion. They glow in infrared light, but emit little “normal” light.
Light pollution or not?
If you look at the seven stars, you won’t see as many stars as a Frenchman. If you look from the heart of Amsterdam, you will probably see five or six stars. It has to do with light pollution: the night sky is not completely dark. If you are traveling in the south of France and looking for a dark place, there may be nine or even ten stars visible. If you use a telescope or binoculars, you can spot up to hundreds of stars in the Pleiades. This makes the Seven Sisters a favorite object for amateur astronomers.
The Pleiades are in the Bible
The Pleiades being visible to the naked eye, this cluster of stars has been known for a long time. So long, in fact, that the Pleiades are mentioned several times in the Old Testament of the Bible. “He made the Big Dipper, and Orion, the Pleiades, and the southern stars,” is written in Job 9 verse 9. But the Pleiades are also mentioned in the Iliad and the Odyssey of the Greek poet Homer.
Space Photo of the Week
space photo of the week was created by Damien Cannane from Florida in the United States. The photo is slightly more exposed, so the nebula around the star cluster can also be seen clearly. A beautiful shot of these sparkling diamonds.
“Bacon trailblazer. Certified coffee maven. Zombie lover. Tv specialist. Freelance communicator.”