EarthSky Community Photos

Submit your photo here. Comment or upvote on photo pages. Search via photographers' names. More improvements coming! To help, please donate.

Mohammad Adeel
Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
10/04/2023
11:50 pm

Equipment Details:

Canon EOS 1300D
Samyang 135mm f2 lens
Ioptron sky tracker mini

Post-processing Details:

Single tracked exposure of 30 seconds at f2.8
Post processing done in PS 23

Image Details:

Pleaides - The Most Famous Star Cluster

Captured Pleaides from the skies of Lahore a couple of nights ago on a very clear night. Pleaides is also known as Seven sisters, Al Thurayya, Parvin, Matarii, Hen and her chicks, Sieve, Subaru, Ülker, Mao or Moroporo which are a few names from across the globe.

Sometimes called the Seven Sisters, the Starry Seven, and the Seven Atlantic Sisters, the stars of this small dipper-shaped cluster take their names from the ancient Greek god Atlas, his wife Pleione, and their seven daughters.

As such a prominent star cluster, one that lies near the ecliptic, the Pleiades has been known since the dawn of history by cultures all over the world. A study of the mythologies based on these stars and their appearance in literature around the world make for fascinating reading. Some examples:

- Polynesian peoples called them matarii or matariki (“little eyes”) and held they were once a single star split into six during a battle among the gods.
- Medieval northern European cultures, including the Vikings, presumably occupied with the essentials of life rather than poetry, called them the ‘Hen and her Chicks’.
- Finnish and Lithuanian stargazers saw them as a sieve or net (in Tolkien’s The Hobbit, they were called “The Netted Stars”)
- In Japan, these stars were called subaru, which means unity (the Subaru car company was named when five smaller firms merged into a larger sixth firm, Fuji Heavy Industries).
- In Arabic the Pleiades are known as al-Thurayya الثريا, and is mentioned in Islamic literature. Some scholars of Islam suggested that the Pleiades are the "star" mentioned in Sura An-Najm ("The Star") of the Quran.
- The name was borrowed into Persian and Turkish as a female given name, and is in use throughout the Middle East (for example Princess Soraya of Iran and Thoraya Obaid).
- It eponymises the Thuraya satellite phone system of the United Arab Emirates.
- In Farsi the Pleiades is primarily known as Parvin (pronounced "parveen"). It too is a common given name of Iranians, Afghanis and some Pakistanis.
- To the Ban Raji people, who live semi-nomadically across western Nepal and Uttarakhand, the Pleiades are the "Seven sisters-in-law, and brother-in-law" (Hatai halyou daa Salla).
- In Chinese constellations they are 昴 mao, the Hairy Head of the white tiger of the West.
- The cluster, known as Bintang Tujuh ("seven stars") or Bintang Puyuh ("sparrow stars") in Malay.
- In the Philippines the Pleiades are known as "Moroporo", meaning either “the boiling lights” or a flock of birds.

And the list goes on 😅 bottom line is that Pleaides has a significant value in almost every culture of the world and it has been an important star formation which holds significance since the earliest humans.

2024 EarthSky Fundraiser

Any amount will help us reach our goal.

Would you consider

donating?

If you've already donated, we apologize for the popup and greatly appreciate your support.