Monday, April 14, 2008

Close to my heart


The Pleiades (pronounced /ˈpliːədiːz/ or /ˈplaɪədiːz/), also known as M45, the Seven Sisters, SED, Matariki or (in Japan) Subaru, is an open cluster in the constellation of Taurus. It is among the nearest star clusters, and is probably the best known, and is certainly the most obvious to the naked eye. It is sometimes referred to as the Maia Nebula, perhaps erroneously considering that the reflection nebulosity surrounding Maia is intrinsic .

The cluster is dominated by hot blue stars which have formed within the last 100 million years. Dust that forms a faint reflection nebulosity around the brightest stars was thought at first to be left over from the formation of the cluster, but is now known to be an unrelated dust cloud that the stars are currently passing through. Astronomers estimate that the cluster will survive for about another 250 million years, after which it will have dispersed due to gravitational interactions with its galactic neighborhood.(from wikipedia)

Okay, so I don't know much about astronomy except how to view the ladle-shaped cluster of stars and arguing with my sisters whether it's the big bear or not, but I recently learned about this specific cluster.I have been looking for this specific cluster for a long time, but I didn't know its name up until I was watching an episode of "without a trace" and they mentioned this cluster that it's known as the seven sisters. That's how I was able to google it and there it is. I am very happy about that, all that's left now is to know how to view it in the sky.

I couldn't help myself, pasting the below poem by none other Edgar Ellen Poe

ISRAFEL
                                                                    by Edgar Allan Poe


In Heaven a spirit doth dwell
"Whose heart-strings are a lute";
None sing so wildly well
As the angel Israfel,
And the giddy stars (so legends tell),
Ceasing their hymns, attend the spell
Of his voice, all mute.

Tottering above
In her highest noon,
The enamored moon
Blushes with love,
While, to listen, the red levin
(With the rapid Pleiads, even,
Which were seven,)
Pauses in Heaven.

And they say (the starry choir
And the other listening things)
That Israfeli's fire
Is owing to that lyre
By which he sits and sings-
The trembling living wire
Of those unusual strings.

But the skies that angel trod,
Where deep thoughts are a duty-
Where Love's a grown-up God-
Where the Houri glances are
Imbued with all the beauty
Which we worship in a star.

Therefore thou art not wrong,
Israfeli, who despisest
An unimpassioned song;
To thee the laurels belong,
Best bard, because the wisest!
Merrily live, and long!

The ecstasies above
With thy burning measures suit-
Thy grief, thy joy, thy hate, thy love,
With the fervor of thy lute-
Well may the stars be mute!

Yes, Heaven is thine; but this
Is a world of sweets and sours;
Our flowers are merely- flowers,
And the shadow of thy perfect bliss
Is the sunshine of ours.

If I could dwell
Where Israfel
Hath dwelt, and he where I,
He might not sing so wildly well
A mortal melody,
While a bolder note than this might swell
From my lyre within the sky.



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