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Image Credit: Digitized Sky Survey

They were the daughters of Atlas, seven in number. Their names were Electra, Maia, Taygete, Alcyone, Merope, Celaeno, Sterope. Orion pursued them but they fled before him and he could never seize any of them. Still he continued to follow them until Zeus, pitying them, placed them in the heavens as stars. But it was said that even there Orion continued his pursuit, always unsuccessful, yet persistent. While they lived on earth one of them, Maia, was the mother of Hermes. Another, Electra, was the mother of Dardanus, the founder of the Trojan race. Although it is agreed that there were seven of them, only six stars are clearly visible. The seventh is invisible except to those who have especially keen sight.

Edith Hamilton
Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes
The New American Library, New York, Toronto, 1942

Animation:

Zoom-in to the Merope Nebula
1.6MB MPEG
Animation Credit: STScI AVL
Image Credits: Terence Dickinson, Digitized Sky Survey,
Chuck Vaughn, Hubble Heritage Team

 

Backyard view of the Pleiades, with Jupiter, Saturn and the Hyades
Image Credit: Terence Dickinson

.A Color Image of Merope
Image Credit: Nigel Sharp (NOAO), BVR image taken in January 1997 at the Burrell Schmidt telecope (Warner and Swasey Obs. of the Case Western Reserve Univ.), located on Kitt Peak, Tucson, AZ.

 

Merope and Its Nebula
Image Credit: Chuck Vaughn, amateur astrophotographer. 85 minute exposure taken wth a 12.5" f/9 Ritchey-Chretien telescope