rganetzk at rganetzk at
Sun Jun 29 13:46:15 EDT 2003

A few corrections to my last post, which contained a number of
inaccuracies, according to my astronomy books.
Apparently, the average binoculars reveal 50 stars, not 7 (I was told 7
by a guy at the planetarium, sigh...)  The Pleiades is not a galaxy, but
a nebula, it is an open cluster, 430 light years away, and the maximum
number of stars in it visible from Earth is 3000.

The Pleiades are also known as M45 and an Internet search, reveals that there are 9
bright stars, and two or three associated nebulae also talks
about this -- the 9 brightest stars are named for the 7 sisters and
their two parents.  It is possible that in an extremely low light
pollution conditions, one could, using averted vision see 7 stars, but
you're still not seeing the seven sisters, as one of the brightest is Atlas.

Rebecca, who knows she should apolgize for too much listening to the
guys in the planetarium and too little reading, but is being distracted
by the description of Camelopardalis, the Giraffe, which is apparently
near the north pole.

P.S. If anyone's interested, my primary resource is North Star to
Southern Cross, by Will Kyselka and Ray Lanterman
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