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4.5 The Pléiades Constellation

This is an open cluster of stars which can be seen in the northern hemisphere within the Taurus constellation.

This is an open cluster of stars which can be seen in the northern hemisphere within the Taurus constellation. The origin of the name “Pleiades” comes from Greek mythology.

The Pleiades are seven sisters, daughters of Atlas and Pleione and are called Asterope, Merope, Electra, Maia, Taygete, Celaeno and Alcyone.

Some 500 stars that make up this cluster can be counted today, of which a dozen are visible to the naked eye. lt extends over 2° which is the equivalent of four times the visible diameter of the Moon.

An anecdote concerning the Pleiades is that the Japanese name of the cluster is Subaru, which means “unity”.

The name of the summit on which we are standing, comes from a distortion of the term “laplayau”, which refers to the place where horses were harnessed to the carts to transport the wood after the trunks had been rolled down the hill.