Pleiades Cluster

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Pleiades (M45) with Star Map

The Pleiades (also known as M45 or the Seven Sisters) is an open star cluster composed of B-type main-sequence stars that have formed within the last 100 million years, and is located in the general direction of the Terran-sky constellation of Taurus.

Description (Specifications)

Simulations suggest that the Pleiades probably formed from a compact configuration similar to the Orion Nebula. It is estimated that the cluster will survive for approximately another 250 million years before gravitationally dispersing via interactions with the surrounding galactic environment.

  • The cluster is dominated by young, hot blue stars, and contains about 1,000 confirmed members.
  • Up to 25% of the stellar population of the cluster as a whole may be constituted by Brown Dwarfs.
  • The cluster spans approximately 4.5pc.
  • The core radius of the cluster is approximately 2.5pc and its tidal radius extends to about 13.2pc.
  • The Pleiades lie at an average distance of approximately 136pc from Terra, and are located in a generally Rimward/Rimspinward direction from Terra at bearing 166.6o Galactic Longitude and -23.5o South Galactic Latitude.

History & Background (Dossier)

The brightest stars of the Pleiades Cluster are named for the Seven Sisters of Greek mythology:

  1. Alcyone
  2. Celaeno
  3. Electra
  4. Maia
  5. Merope
  6. Sterope
  7. Taygeta
  • ...along with their parents Atlas and Pleione.
  • As daughters of Atlas, the Hyades were sisters of the Pleiades.

References & Contributors (Sources)

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