hyades star cluster

Location: Nepal
Photo: Jeff’s Journey to the Stars

“Aldebaran is a red giant star, located at 65 light years away and a diameter of 44.2 times of the Sun. Aldebaran positioned in front of the sprawling Hyades star cluster which depicted on the shield of the shield of Achilles according to Homer. The great snow peak with banner clouds is Mount Everest, the top of the world.” - Jeff Dai

Launch to Lovejoy : Blasting skyward an Atlas V rocket carrying a U.S. Navy satellite pierces a cloud bank in this starry night scene captured on January 20. On its way to orbit from Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, planet Earth, the rocket streaks past brightest star Sirius, as seen from a dark beach at Canaveral National Seashore. Above the alpha star of Canis Major, Orion the Hunter strikes a pose familiar to northern winter skygazers. Above Orion is the V-shaped Hyades star cluster, head of Taurus the Bull, and farther still above Taurus it’s easy to spot the compact Pleiades star cluster. Of course near the top of the frame you’ll find the greenish coma and long tail of Comet Lovejoy, astronomical darling of these January nights. via NASA


The Hyades

In Greek mythology, the Hyades (Ancient Greek: Ὑάδες, popularly “the rainy ones) are a sisterhood of nymphs that bring rain.

The Hyades were daughters of Atlas and sisters of Hyas in most tellings. The Hyades are sisters to the Pleiades and the Hesperides.

The main myth concerning them is envisioned to account for their collective name and to provide an etiology for their weepy raininess: Hyas was killed in a hunting accident and the Hyades wept from their grief. They were later changed into a cluster of stars, the Hyades, set in the head of Taurus.

The Greeks believed that the heliacal rising and setting of the Hyades star cluster were always attended with rain, hence the association of the Hyades (sisters of Hyas) and the Hyades (daughters of ocean) with the constellation of the Hyades (rainy ones).

The Hyades are also thought to have been the tutors of Dionysus, in some tellings of the latter’s infancy,and as such are equated with the Nysiads, the nymphs who are also believed to have cared for Dionysus, as well as with other reputed nurses of the god — the Lamides, the Dodonides, and the nymphs of Naxos. Some sources relate that they were subject to aging, but Dionysus, to express his gratitude for having raised him, asked Medea to restore their youth.

The Hunter, the Bull, and Lovejoy : Heading north, Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) is putting on its best show for comet watchers now, with moonlight absent from mid-January’s early evening skies. An easy binocular target and just visible to the unaided eye from dark sites, the comet sweeps across the constellation Taurus the Bull in this deep night skyscape. The starry scene was captured just two days ago on January 12, from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, planet Earth. In fact, the head of Taurus formed by the V-shaped Hyades star cluster points toward Lovejoy at the right. The comet’s greenish coma and tail streaming in the anti-sunward direction also seem to have been shot from Orion’s bow. You can spot the familiar stars of the nebula rich constellation of the Hunter on the left, and follow this link to highlight Comet Lovejoy in the wide field of view. via NASA