top of page
  • Elizabeth Cocking

Did you know? The Pleides

Often called “The Seven Sisters” this group of stars has a strong connection to Aboriginal Peoples in many parts of Australia and was the focus of an exhibition called Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters at the Australian National Gallery.

An image of the Pleiades star cluster, shown below, was produced in 2007 by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory using an Infra-Red filter and NASA's Spitzer telescope.

Copyright NASA JPL

In Western cultural tradition the individual stars are named for figures in ancient Greek Mythology, Alcyone, Maia, Taygeta, Sterope, Merope, Celaeno and Electra. They were the daughters of the Greek Titan Atlas.

They are an open cluster of stars about 400 light years from Earth. They formed within the last 100 million years from a huge nebula. Most of the stars are young, hot stars and therefore will have a much shorter lifespan than the Sun.

In Japan the Pleiades are called Subaru. The logo for the car company has the pattern of these stars accurately depicted.


bottom of page