Fall is here and that means the return of some of our old night-sky friends. One of note is the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters. Rising a little after 7 p.m., by 9 p.m. they are directly east and about 40 degrees above the horizon. They appear as a tiny dipper-shaped group of stars visible to the eyes.

They are an open cluster of 1,000 stars about 450 light-years away, and all formed from the same dust cloud about 100 million years ago. They are young hot stars that will drift apart over time. There are many open clusters in the Milky Way Galaxy. They reside in the plane of the galaxy where the dust can be found.

Come join us at the Insperity Observatory for Public Night on the first Friday each month from sunset to 10 p.m. and check out this celestial wonder and many more: humbleisd.net/observatory.

Aaron Clevenson
Author: Aaron ClevensonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am the observatory director at the Insperity Observatory in Humble ISD. I am also an adjunct astronomy professor at Lone Star College-Montgomery where I teach solar system astronomy and stars and galaxies astronomy. I am the author of the astronomy textbook, “Astronomy for Mere Mortals.” I am a past president of the North Houston Astronomy Club, and was the chair of Astronomy Day in Southeast Texas in 2015 and 2016. He is an observing program director with The Astronomical League, coordinates their Master Observer Progression Awards, and has authored six of their observing programs.

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