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STAR GAZING

Known variously as the Seven Sisters, the Seven Virgins, and the Daughters of Atlas, the Pleiades (plee-uh-dees) have been held in high esteem through the ages. Temples in ancient Greece were built to face them, as was a passage leading from the Great Pyramid at Giza. In Japan, the Feast of Lanterns is a remnant of ancient rites honoring these stars. (The Japanese word for the cluster is, by the way, subaru, which is why the stars figure in the car company’s logo.) The entire star swarm is enveloped in a faint, diffuse cloud–apparently dust and perhaps larger particles that reflect starlight. In Locksley Hall, Tennyson wrote that the Pleiades glitter like “fireflies tangled in a silver braid.”