Stellar Distances

Distance score settled for Seven Sisters

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Science  29 Aug 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6200, pp. 1016
DOI: 10.1126/science.345.6200.1016-c

Most of us have seen the Pleiades star cluster in the night sky, one of the few groups of physically related stars that are separately visible to the naked eye. In spite of its proximity to us, its distance has been disputed. Melis et al. settle the controversy with astrometric measurements from radio interferometry that reveal a distance of 136.2 parsecs (see the Perspective by Girardi). Other methods yielded similar values, but the trusted astrometry satellite Hipparcos measured only 120.2 parsecs. The new result alleviates the concern that astronomers would need to adjust their stellar evolution models to align with the Hipparcos distance.

Science, this issue p. 1029; see also p. 1001

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