• Alcyone appears as one star to the naked eye, but under magnification, it reveals itself as four. Alcyone hooked up with Posiedon and had a kid
  • Merope married a mortal, Sisyphus and had several kids. Sisyphus is the dude who is doomed to roll a boulder up a hill only to have it fall back down for all eternity. Bummer.
  • Maia is the oldest Pleiade. She hooked up with Zeus and produced Hermes, the messenger of the Gods.
  • Electra was married but she got "seduced" by Zeus and ended up producing Dardanus, the founder of Troy and ancestor of Priam, Hector, and Paris from Homer's 'The Iliad'.
  • Celaeno hooked up with Posiedon and had a couple sons, Lycus and Eurypylus
  • Taygeta hooked up with Zeus and had a son, Lacedaemon, who later married Sparta.
  • Asterope hooked up with Ares, the god of war, and had a son named Oenomaus.

The Seven Sisters

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The Pleiades are the 7 daughters of Pleione the sea nymph and Atlas, the dude who holds up the sky. Pleione and Atlas have thier own nearby stars but they're just to the left outside the frame of this image). So Atlas was forced to hold up the sky, and Orion saw his chance to get some nookie. Orion chased them around for quite a while before Zeus took pity on the sisters and changed them into doves. They flew off into the sky and turned into stars. The constellation Orion pursues them through the sky to this day.

Generally when you look at the Pleiades, you only see six stars. There are several conflicting stories about what happened to the seventh. Merope married a mortal and is supposed to have faded away in shame, or Electra faded away in grief after the fall of Troy (her son founded Troy), etc. The weird part is the star that we generally don't see is Celaeno. Asterope is actually made up of two stars, both dimmer than Celaeno, but to the naked eye, we see them as one, brighter star.

The Pleiades are one of the more recognizable objects in the night sky. They appear as 5 or 6 somewhat dim stars clustered together very tightly. They also feature prominently on the Subaru Logo. This isn't surprising since Subaru is the Japaneses name for the Pleiades.

In reality, the Pleiades are an open cluster of hundreds of stars who happen to be plowing into some interstellar hydrogen. The light from the stars lights up the dark hydrogen creating a reflection nebula.

1000mm focal length
F/4.9 (203mm aperture newtonian telescope)
9 exposures, 2 minutes each.

The processing on these was incredibly involved because my telescope cannot track stars for two minutes unguided. Briefly:
aligned and stacked using sigma clipping in IRIS
Split into seperate red, green, and blue channels
Ran Richardson Lucy deconvolutions (60 iterations) on each channel

Then I took several different portions of each channel and combined them (Adding some blue into the green channel and some green into the red channel in the process) in photoshop in sort of an HDR'ish manner.

Given the constraints of my equipment, I'm ecstatic at how this turned out. :)

historyanorak, G-Me, and 171 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 20 more comments

  1. lavendertiff_29 87 months ago | reply

    I Like it!! that was so wonDerful...

  2. leopaul_delr 84 months ago | reply

    That was wonderful! sniff..

  3. faith goble 84 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Luminosity and Light, and we'd love to have your photo added to the group.

  4. Sarai | Fotography 83 months ago | reply

    You have me in complete awe.

  5. oldoinyo 83 months ago | reply

    Beautiful post-processing--it reminds me of the iconic Mt. Palomar images of this. When so many of the cluster's stars are in the frame, it is actually difficult to guess which one deserves the #7 label! I have never seen more than 6 with the naked eye, evven at high altitude.

  6. daniel.janca 79 months ago | reply

    This is unbelievable, never knew something like this can be achieved if youre not NASA.

  7. mattie_shoes 79 months ago | reply

    Oh, all it takes is patience and the right equipment :-) There are much higher quality shots from other amateurs out there!

  8. flickrolf 76 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called "ATLAS" working overtime, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

  9. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center 74 months ago | reply

    I just saw this. What a great image, and I love the notes explaining the mythological soap opera associated to these celestial bodies. A fave.

  10. Stevie Steve Steven 69 months ago | reply

    Outstanding...ck out my astro pics too sometime

  11. flemj17 69 months ago | reply

    Your hard work on these photo's really paid off! Nice work.

  12. Jonathan P. Beck 67 months ago | reply

    Is this a mirror lens with a doubler?

  13. mattie_shoes 67 months ago | reply

    It's a mirror lens of sorts... A F/4.9 1000mm telescope.
    Mattie Shoes and his telephoto lens
    Camera is attached to the focusing tube of the telescope (where the eyepiece would normally be), and the telescope acts as one huge manual focus lens.
    http://www.google.com/ (?)

  14. dj3huti 63 months ago | reply

    That's a wonderful image! Thank you!

  15. NOW ON: flick.com/photos/beatriz_molina/ [deleted] 63 months ago | reply

    Incredible sparkles.... and what a deep blue, so amazing...!
    Seen in your Nebulae set. ( ?² )

  16. jdmuth 61 months ago | reply

    Fantastic image!!!!!! Just awesome, great color and clarity :-))

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