Fixed star:  PLEIONE
Constellation:  28 Taurus
Longitude 1900:  28TAU59 Longitude 2000:  00GEM23
Declination 1900:  +23.50' Declination 2000:  +24.07'
Right ascension:  03h 49m Latitude:   +03.59'
Spectral class:  B8 Magnitude:  5.1 Variable

The history of the star: Pleione

Fl. 28 Taurus, Pleione, is one of the Pleiades, a group of stars on the shoulder of the Bull.

See Alcyone, the chief star in the Pleiades, for astrological interpretations.


Legend: Mother of the Pleiades and Atlas' first wife. Pleione from Plein,`to sail', making Pleione "sailing queen" and her daughters "sailing ones." Ancient Greek sailors were cautioned to sail only during the months when the Pleiades were visible. Mythologically speaking, Atlas and Pleione are not Pleiades, but rather the parents of the Seven Sisters. But as Pleione was the mother of the seven sisters, it seems likely that it was from her name this title, Pleiades, originated.


from p.408 of Star Names, Richard Hinckley Allen, 1889.

"Hinc sata Pleione cum caelifero Atlante Jungitur, ut fama est, Pleiadasque parit." — Ovid's Fasti.

Pleione, the Italian astronomer Riccioli's (1598–1671) Mater Pleione, and Plione, were equally modern additions, although Valerius Flaccus used the word to personify the whole.

As the spectrum of this star shows the bright lines of hydrogen like that of P Cygni, Pickering suggests that it may similarly have had a temporary brilliancy and thus be the Lost Pleiad: a scientific and — if there ever has been in historic time a star in the cluster that is now missing — the most probable solution of this much discussed question; so that the mother seems to have been lost, as well as many of the daughters!