Patterns (was Re: Wilkins' Tooth (was Re: Introductions))

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at
Fri Jun 27 19:21:24 EDT 2003

--- minnow at wrote:
 or explain how the Pleiades (Seven Stars -
> are there seven?)
> Eleven, I think, with a reasonable telescope.  (And
> that's an early jazz
> number, "Seven and Eleven" -- grins and manages not
> to go hunting patterns
> there...)  Or else, pre-telescope, there are six,
> plus the invisible
> Electra who hides her head in shame at having
> married a Mere Mortal, and
> can't be seen with the naked eye, which always made
> me wonder how they had
> known she was there at all in the first place.  Or
> else there are dozens,
> now we have powerful telescopes, but that's not
> really very relevant to a
> song of that age, I don't think.

Its not just the Greeks who thought that the
constellation Pleiades has seven stars when only six
are normally visible. The Japanese who call the
constellation Subaru (the car company uses the
constellation for its logo - with six stars I think)
also gave it seven stars and there is also an
Australian aboriginaL myth of seven sisters associated
with the constellation.  There are suggestions that in
former times one of the stars may have been brighter.


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