Glossary term: Pleiades

Description: The Pleiades is a cluster of stars in the constellation of Taurus. An open cluster of over a thousand stars, the Pleiades is about 440 light-years from Earth. The Pleiades is relatively young by astronomical standards with an age of around 130 million years. Between six and nine members of the Pleiades are visible with the naked eye under most conditions. As a prominent stellar cluster the Pleiades have a wealth of mythology and folklore associated with them from cultures across the globe. Their first appearance in the morning sky is an important marker in the calendars of several societies including signalling the Māori New Year. The name "Pleiades" comes from the Greek legend associated with the cluster.

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