These cosmic crown jewels can be viewed without a telescope

These cosmic crown jewels can be viewed without a telescope

Many objects in the night sky can only be seen with binoculars or a telescope, but not the Pleiades or the Seven Stars. This open, twinkling star cluster is easy to spot with the unaided eye this winter.

You can find the Seven Sisters in the constellation Taurus. It is very easy to find the constellation if you know the constellation Orion. The constellation Orion has a “belt” of three stars. This is Orion’s belt. Follow Orion’s Belt up (the orange line) and you’ll come to a bright star: Aldebaran. This is the brightest star in the constellation Taurus. Continue down the line for a bit (yellow line) and you will reach the Pleiades. You can see it clearly on the map below.

The Pleiades are one of the closest groups of stars. The open cluster consists of at least 500 stars and is located At a distance of more than 400 light years from Earth. The star cluster is about 100 million years old. Now the stars are held together by gravity, but scientists believe the cluster will collapse within 250 million years.

A quarter of the stars in the seven are called brown dwarfs. These are actually failed stars. The mass of brown dwarfs is too small to begin nuclear fusion. They glow in infrared light, but emit very little “normal” light.

Light pollution or not?
If you look at the seven stars, you will not see as many stars as the Frenchman. If you look from the heart of Amsterdam, you will probably see five or six stars. This has to do with light pollution: the night sky isn’t completely dark. If you travel to the south of France and look 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.

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Pleiades are in the Bible
Since the Pleiades are visible to the naked eye, this star cluster has been known for a long time. So long, in fact, that the Pleiades were mentioned several times in the Old Testament of the Bible. “He made the Big Dipper and Orion and the Pleiades and the Southern Stars,” It is written in Job 9 verse 9. But the Pleiades are also mentioned in the Iliad and the Odyssey by the Greek poet Homer.

Satellite image of the week
Satellite image of the week Created by Damien Cannane From Florida in the United States. The image is exposed a little longer, so that the nebula around the star cluster can also be seen clearly. A beautiful picture of these sparkling diamonds.

Over the past few decades, space telescopes and satellites have taken beautiful pictures of nebulae, galaxies, star nurseries, and planets. Every weekend, we retrieve one or more great space photos from the archives. Enjoy all the pictures? Check them out on this page.

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