Few astronomical images are as familiar as the Pleiades star cluster, also known as the Seven Sisters. In Vietnam, the Pleiades know the name That Nu, or more rustically Tua Rua. It is not wrong to say that it is the most famous cluster of stars in all the sky. If you have trouble identifying stars and constellations, you should start with the Pleiades cluster.
Information on the Pleiades
Ten: Pleaides, Messier-45
Type: open cluster
Constellation: Taurus (Taurus)
Apparent brightness: 1.6
Apparent size: 110′
Note: Extremely easy to see with the naked eye
This group of stars at first glance looks like a small shimmering cloud of light. But a closer look reveals a node filled with 6 or 7 stars, although some people with very good eyesight can see 11 or more stars under favorable sky conditions.
The Pleaides star cluster is near the right edge of the image. From left to right, we can see the constellation Canis Major with its bright star Sirius, the constellation Hunter and the main part of the constellation Taurus. Source: TWAN
But for best results, it is recommended to study the Pleiades with binoculars with 7x magnification, or even better, a small telescope with 15-20x magnification and a wide field of view. In this way, you can admire an almost indescribable spectacle.
The Pleiades star cluster. Author: Robert Gendler
About 250 stars have been identified as part of this cluster. Among them are many stars that appear to be surrounded by clouds of dust, possibly remnants of the material that formed these stars. This cluster is nearly 410 light years away, spans almost 20 light years in space, and is no more than 150 million years old.
The brightest stars sparkled like a chain of blue diamonds against a black velvet background. Or, as the poet Tennyson wrote in the first paragraph of the Locksley Hall poem, we “…shining like a swarm of fireflies caught on a silver rim. “
Let’s admire brighter images of the Pleiades:
Author: Hermann von Eiff
Comet Lovejoy passes by the star cluster Pleaides. Source: The Incredible Sky
The Pleiades cluster appears with two comets. Author: Damian Peach
A meteor passes near the Pleiades star cluster. Author: Svajūnas Stroinas
Pleiades star cluster and comet 46P/Wirtanen, bright in December 2018. Author: Alan Dyer
Comet 46P/Wirtanen and the Pleiades star cluster, December 2018. Author: Ainsley Bennett
Seen through binoculars or a low magnification telescope, the Pleiades cluster looks like this. Colored images like the one above require professional photography and image processing techniques. Author: Hoang Quoc Phuong (HAS)