|Recognized since antiquity and depicted on the
shield of Achilles according to Homer,
stars of the
form the head of the constellation Taurus the Bull.
Their general V-shape is anchored by
the eye of the Bull and by far the constellation's brightest star.
Yellowish in appearance, red giant Aldebaran is not a Hyades cluster
Modern astronomy puts
Hyades cluster 151 light-years away
making it the nearest established open star cluster,
while Aldebaran lies at less than half that distance, along the same
with colorful Hyades stars, this stellar holiday portrait
locates Aldebaran just below center, as well as another
star cluster in Taurus, NGC 1647 at the left,
some 2,000 light-years or more in the background.
Just slide your cursor over the image to identify the stars.
The central Hyades stars are spread out over about 15 light-years.
Formed some 800 million years ago, the Hyades star cluster may
share a common origin
(Praesepe), a naked-eye open star cluster in Cancer,
based on M44's
motion through space
and remarkably similar age.
(Catching the Light)