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20 Tauri

Proper NameMaia
Bayer DesignationNone
Flamsteed Number20 Tauri
HR (BSC)1149
Right Ascension3h 45m 50s
Declination+24° 22' 4"
Distance383 light years
118 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +3.88
Absolute: -1.47
Spectral ClassB8III blue giant
Optimum VisibilityNovember / December
NotesMaia is one of four stars within the Pleiades that belong to the giant class (the other three being Alcyone, Atlas and Electra, with the other members of the cluster being subgiants or main sequence stars). Though it appears as a compact cluster as seen from Earth, the stars of the Pleiades are in fact spread across dozens of light years, and Maia is one of the closest of these many stars to the Solar System.

Maia is one of the four stars (together with Alcyone, Electra and Merope) that make up the main quadrangle at the heart of the Pleiades cluster. The entire cluster is embedded within a network of nebulous material, and the region directly illuminated by Maia is designated as a minor nebula in its own right: NGC 1432, the Maia Nebula. Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas


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